March is here and its time for spring cleaning- not that springtime will be appearing in Alaska anytime soon, it’s -2 degrees as I write these words.
But the sun is shining brilliantly and the days are getting longer and this being my last spring here, I am keenly aware that I only have a few months left in a place I’ve called home all my life.
I find myself clearing space. Uncluttering the house. Releasing stuff. Trying to check things off my list so I leave Anchorage feeling clean. Like I tied up loose ends and left things neat and tidy before permanently flying across the ocean to Hawaii.
My desire for closure is so human and normal even as I acknowledge things may not go as cleanly as I hope. Sometimes it’s hard to tie up loose ends in life. I spent the whole of 2016 trying to find peace and make sense of my brother’s sudden death: there was nothing clean, uncluttered, or tidy about the loss.
Grief pretty much took my life, turned it upside down, and shook it. Leaving my old contents of self scattered haphazardly all over the place.
Throughout the course of the year, I slowly gathered those contents back into me, and I made a lot of decisions about which ones I still wanted to keep and which ones I wanted to let go. We’re not meant to hang onto things forever- dealing with Brent being gone has taught me that- and sometimes life’s shake ups can be the catalyst for massive growth.
Last year during the grimy, snowy, gritty month of March, I didn’t realize, lost in my grief as I was, that I was also nourishing new seeds of courage for what was to come.
Courage to decide to leave the state. Courage to write books. Courage to publish. Courage to close my practice. Courage to reinvent myself. Courage to let go of the way things used to be so I could choose new space.
A year later and I find myself on the cusp of that space. Dusting, sweeping, scrubbing out the rooms that once composed life in Alaska. Getting a few manuscripts ready for publication and launch- I wish to write new things in Kauai and publish the things I wrote here while still here. Slowly putting x’s in the boxes of my “things to do” list.
Everything in its place, everything in its time; time will go slowly and swiftly until the only x left is to get on the plane and fly over that ocean.
And if the next few months don’t go as neatly and tidily and cleanly as I like? Oh well.
I learned to make peace with something that was unpeaceable and unacceptable, yet is how life unfolded anyway. Life will unfold as it unfolds, and sometimes the best we can do is try and keep our boxes checked, adapt as we need, reevaluate and reinvent our contents, and learn to choose new space if things go sideways.
The winter sun streams into my window so brightly it tricks me into thinking I’m already closer to the tropics than I am. Like that sun, I have a feeling this month will trick me too- with a sense of a long, lingering drift that belies the fact it will quickly pass and be gone in a flash.
Comes in like a lion, goes out like a lamb- March is here, and somewhere under that grimy, snowy, gritty winter ground, new seeds are being nourished for what is to come.