I have been having quite a year. It began with joyful promise but is now dotted with disappointment, loss, and heartache. Even as I know enough now to sit with the feelings and be gentle with myself, some days are more difficult than others.
During one particularly challenging week, I decided to do something nice for myself. I love flowers, roses in particular, and it had been some time since I had them at home, so I ordered some. I found just the right bouquet, aptly called “Tenderness” on the site. The online shop wouldn’t let me checkout without filling up the card and so I typed “Tender Defiance”.
For a few days, I woke up to the beautiful sight of them. I inhaled their subtle fragrance, touched their petals, and exhaled gratitude for all the care their simple existence bestowed on me.
Since then I have been purposefully looking at how love shows up in my life: the hugs and laughter my boys and I generously exchange, the white bulb blossoming on my Peace Lily, my 22-year-old enjoying a sandwich I made for him, the poignant coming together of friends and family to celebrate the life of a beloved sister, the sun shining long enough for me to get home from my Sunday walk.
Life can be cruel sometimes and that’s just how it is, but if we are mindful of how love continues to defy gravity then we will never fall into irreparable despair. We can recognize that the colorful feather on damp pavement right before your heart broke again was a reminder of your inherent divinity.
And so we go in tender defiance of all that threatens to harden us and surrender instead into ever more softness, warmth and kindness. This too shall pass.