April Love, Day 4 – Morning

This April, I am participating in Susannah Conway’s April Love, a month of love letters. Using her predetermined prompts, I’ll be writing a love letter to an aspect of my life every day (well, maybe) in the month of April. Thanks for tagging along!

Dear Morning,

You are a relief.

I do not need to work hard in order to feel grateful for you. I experience an overwhelming rush of gratitude each morning when I open my eyes. I’d love to pretend that this is because I am some zen master of gratitude, serenely thankful for each new day, but that would not be the truth. The reality of this daily appreciation is a little more… well, depressing. The intrusive thoughts and irrational fears which are a hallmark of my anxiety disorder, seem to retreat in the light of day. It’s funny, in a way. There is some beautiful metaphor in the fact that my anxious mind cannot survive the scrutiny of daylight. All the inconsistencies and improbabilities are exposed. However, when night falls, my anxious mind takes over. Nights are not relaxing for me. Evenings are unnerving at best, terrifying at worst. Even on my best days, my nights are fraught with tension. While most people are relaxing and unwinding after a long day, I am frantically trying to give slack to an ever tensing mind, for fear that it will snap.

Morning means I made it. Morning means that we are all still here, alive and healthy.

Every morning is a victory.

I hope, some day, that I can appreciate you differently. I hope my gratitude for morning loses its tone of relief. Perhaps one day I will wake up and give thanks for the break of a new day, for no other reason than that I am excited to live it, and not because I am relieved to have made it.

Either way, it’s gratitude, and I suppose gratitude in an off kilter way, is better than none at all. Right?

See you tomorrow,

Kelly

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April Love, Day 2 – Home

Dear Illinois,

You are not where I was born. You are not even where I grew up. And yet, you are home. You are where I have made my home. I met my husband here. I became a mother here. It is here that I have fought the personal battles which have given my soul definition. On this Midwestern soil, I gained my edge.

I’ll admit, I haven’t always thought of you as home. Texas and Oklahoma still feel very much like home to me. My roots began there. However, as time gets on, I learn to appreciate you more and more. I love your rolling pastureland. I love the way Lake Michigan stretches far into the horizon, almost giving one the impression of being at the sea. I love the way you slowly transition from one season to the next, teasing them out in a way that makes me appreciate each one differently. It is so unlike the South, where Spring and Fall last approximately 48 hours each. I love the people here. Kindly Midwesterners remind me very much of kindly Southerners, and I feel right at home. I love your natural beauty. Big skies, vast farmland, rolling meadows, and big rivers which open into fertile river valleys. You are undeniably beautiful. I love the snow. I harbor none of the bitterness of one who was raised here. Every snowfall (even the ones in April, like we had on and off all day today), brings a sense of wonder. Each time I am so grateful for your beauty, for being able to live in such a lovely, friendly place.

With that increasing gratitude, has come an increasing sense of ownership. After 12 years of living here, I am finally ready to claim you as home.

There’s no place like home.

Kelly

April Love, Day One – Love

This April, I am participating in Susannah Conway’s April Love, a month of love letters. Using her predetermined prompts, I’ll be writing a love letter to an aspect of my life every day (well, maybe) in the month of April. Thanks for tagging along!

Dear Love,

You always seem to find me. Even when I’m too busy to find you. Sometimes it feels like you have an elaborate alert system set up, and whenever I’m running on empty, some buzzer somewhere starts up. When that buzzer goes off, you spring into action to throw yourself into my path. You are a full-service station for my heart. I arrive empty, but I do not leave that way.

This very writing series is a perfect example of your alert system at work. I have been running on empty lately. I have been working hard on my heart. I have been healing the wounds of losing Clara, and working through the anxiety which clings to me like freshly spun web. I have been active and vocal, and as a result, I have been tired. My engine begins to sputter and groan. It’s no surprise then, that an email about this writing series would find itself in my inbox. I knew immediately that it would be what my heart needs. A chance to reflect and be grateful. A chance to press pause on the hard work and remember just what it is that I’m working towards.

What is incredible, is that I’m beginning to trust that you will find me. It has happened so many times thus far, that we seem to have entered into an unspoken agreement. I know you will be there when I need you. I know when the darkness creeps in, you will find a way to me. You always do.

So, thank you, Love. Thank you for finding me, most especially when I cannot find you.

Kelly