It’s only fear that keeps you locked in here.

This simple song knocked me back recently. So often it’s the simplest messages that shine for me over time. I like to think things are far more complicated than they really are- or I suppose things are complicated, but I don’t have to be. I am trying to remember and implement that knowledge, entering this new year. When I whittle down what it is that *I* need to be- in my life, to my people, in my work, even moment to moment- I realize that it’s much more clear than the so often desperate and fruitless heady space that I inhabit when I am afraid or idle.

It’s Jeff’s birthday today. These annual trips around the sun, I tell ya. It gets a girl all sentimental- especially when you realize that you’ve spent nearly every day of 11 years with this man, and that you are so SO grateful that he’s your family. His kindness and wisdom and integrity have only grown with his age. I believe you can love anyone- that, given enough time and connection and intimacy, you can grow love for any person’s soul. I also believe, though, that this knowledge doesn’t need to water down the actual importance and significance of being with those individuals that you do choose. The commitment, the witnessing, the daily doing and serving- it actualizes the love. Jeff said to me a long time ago: “Yours is the body I get to love.” I know that might be a bit sappy, but it spans more than one might assume. The other day I was criticizing him for indulging in too much junk food at work. Exasperated, I said “Well, nevermind, it’s your body.” He turned to me and said definitively, “Yes, but it’s also yours too.”

This is the kind of gentle but firm wisdom I get to experience from this guy. It’s in statements like these that I can go through my day- feeding the dog, wrestling pants onto our son, putting my girl’s hair up in pigtails and searching for her stuffed monkey when it’s gone missing, watering tender microgreens, digging into the earth and hearing my own heart pound… These are the bodies I get to love. Perhaps his birthday gets me teary because I know it was a day when love was actualized and his life held all this promise. He came earth side into his parent’s arms, grew tall and lanky, was full of mischief, felt pain, grew a beard and learned about philosophy, and chose me and our babies and this life.

With everything that’s happened to us this past year and a half, we’ve found some peace in a simple walking date. Just getting out into it all, walking for walking’s sake. It would quiet our minds enough to reconnect and feel grounded. The funny part is, I would almost always drag my heels at first. He’d gently nudge me, saying that he knows I’ll like it in the end. He’s always right. I am consistently peaceful and grateful upon our return, wondering why I always forget and why I am so short-sighted. I’m starting to remember and own this concept, slowly but surely.

It’s been so cold lately, we haven’t been walking as much. One day I was so stir-crazy I insisted that the kids and I get out and walk. They whined and resisted and I barked at them and pushed them out into it. Not 5 minutes into our walk, everyone was happy and peaceful. Funny thing, yes? That such simple things- moving, breathing, being together- can be the thing that awakens and grounds us?

I know Maya the dog agrees. πŸ™‚

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