Pain and joy are two sides of the same coin. When you pick up and move your young family to a new, unfamiliar place and leave all your friends, family, and favorite haunts behind, it's at times quite lonely. I've felt that sting more times than I can count this summer. I've longed for the ease of always knowing which streets to turn on. I miss walking into a friend's house and feeling comfortable enough to open her fridge and pour myself a drink.
I long for some rhythm--for myself, and for my daughter who still vividly remembers that Monday is the day we played at Austi's house, Wednesday she went to Leha's and Friday she attended a preschool readiness program and sang "Wheels on the Bus."
Yet, I am thankful, because out of this pain rises tremendous joy. A phone call with an old friend has a new sweetness that I never noticed before. Unpacking a box and finding old photographs makes me pause and smile, whereas in the past I might have just glossed over them and filed them away. Having more space and time to do nothing but watch my children interact and play is a gift beyond words. (It's amazing what they do when they think no one is watching!) Exploring a new town with my husband--discovering our new favorite restaurants, shops, museums and parks--is fun and reminds me of our first year of marriage.
I'm told we've entered the monsoon season here. Nightly storms rattle our windows and bring precious rain to our parched landscape. Out of that rain, desert flowers are blooming. I notice them--each and every one--because they are fleeting, but also because they are persistent as hell. I think about the effort and energy required to bloom with only a few drops of moisture and 110-degree heat beating you down.
Now, I'm not going to get too sentimental here and call myself a desert flower. (I can feel your collective eyes rolling). The reality is, I have so much more nourishment available to me than these flowers do. So much love, support and friendship in my life. And I know this because I have felt the sting of separation and the abundance of reunion and reconnection.