forgive + forbear = felicity

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Given my thorny relationship with April, you might think I would be reaching for another f-word than forgiveness, forbearance and felicity.

Yes — as long as I live in New England –April and I are like two people at a cocktail party forced to make small talk although we have exactly zero in common. She is mercurial, cold, inconsiderate and very windy.

One moment she is all softness and tender blooms, the next she is icy temps, snow and dashed weekend plans.

2

Does it annoy you that I anthropomorphize the weather? My apologies– just know, I anthropomorphize everthing. Rocks, shells, feathers, my boots– the car. Annoying, I know.

Normally, I keep my odd habits to myself but recently had a comment from a most lovely spirit on Instagram noting that my feed is always “picture perfecty idylic” — where is the mess, she wondered?

Oh, I have mess my friends— maybe not all around me (although this week I am deep in the throes of a very big studio transformation so there are only a few overflowing trash bags between me and total chaos). No, I have a powerful need to keep my physical space ordered, clear and spare for the very reason that there is mess in my head.

Yes, the mess is in my head. And, I need a lot of space and quiet and clarity to be able to detach from the thoughts that pass through my head and observe them with compassion. And, my very best antidote when things feel pinchy is to bring my focus to all the beauty that I can experience.

I share all this because this is a really tough time of year for me. It shouldn’t be. I lead a charmed life; I have two sweet dogs, a wonderful home, a pretty town to live in and marvelous friends who are both compassionate and very funny.

What I find hilarious is that I often believe the following:

I should not struggle.

There should be no heaviness, no darkness, no difficulty.

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But that is not life, says April. She is here to shake me up, swat me on the ass, send a bracing wind directly into my face. It’s not that life must have difficulty– as if I have the power to decide what life is gonna be like– ha. It’s that life DOES have the stresses that press us to grow. point finale

And in the moment where it all feels endless, like I have been here before a hundred thousand times and I have made no progress forward, when I feel like everything is pointless and useless — I pull on a hat, my heavy winter coat and brace for the sharp cold waiting for me on the other side of the door.

I head out with the dogs on our walk.

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And as much as I hate to admit it — because really I want to win this argument that April is the worst month ever and she makes me miserable — once I am outdoors, walking, warming up — noticing the brave, brave bulbs, buds and bright green shoots breaking through to stand naked and vulnerable in this weather while I am a big whiny brat wrapped in wool and a down coat, I am humbled.

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If they can hang in there, it seems the least I can do is show up, too.

bisous, Elizabeth

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