Yesterday I worked in the gardens for six hours, sinking my hands into the dirt, chatting with the cardinals, whisking compost off Olive’s beard, planting tightly-closed plants and tipping my face up to the warmth. The sun, the birdsong and the simple tasks disconnected me from my head. I needed this.
In brief, a lot has happened in the last twenty-eight days, most of it unimaginable: I kissed a friend good-bye for the last time. I received a call from a young man asking to marry my oldest daughter. I prepare to graduate my youngest from college. I attended my very last family lacrosse game after twenty years on the sidelines. Sometimes I felt I couldn’t catch my breath.
Have I taken this all in stride? On one hand, there is a hole in my heart the size of Kansas, the loss of my friend from ovarian cancer inconceivable. On the other hand, the love pouring into me from her family, friends and mere acquaintances has filled me to the brim. And while the sadness running out of me has left me wrung out, proposals and wedding plans smack me on the side of the head, reminding me that our lifelines go on, and on, and on, and I am full of joy and happiness AND sadness — a nest of words and emotions exploding in my head and heart.
So there I was, pruning roses and teary, illogically wishing I could call my mother, dead thirty years ago, to tell her all the amazing news and this popped up on my phone screen from a friend:
And I realized, as the sparrows squabbled overhead and the earthworms wriggled below, that there is truly always more room in my heart, that hearts are made to expand — to have and to hold, to hug and to cherish, to grieve and remember, to love and to lose.
How lucky am I to have all these memories and all this emotion. I am filled to the brim. And yet? There is room for more.
Bring it on.