I have a favorite chair -- it's an overstuffed comfy pieceÂ large enough for me to sit sideways andÂ wide arms that house a napping chocolate lab, comfortably --Â it's centered underneathÂ theÂ picture window in the livingroomÂ and overlooks the front porch.
Early in the morning, the light filters through the purple plum trees,Â creeps around the black-eyed susans, stretches aÂ narrow beam over the burning bushÂ and casts a soft glow to the surrounding moss.
The finchesÂ -- having begun their day much earlier -- sweep back and forth asÂ the cardinals settle in the holly tree and the mourning doves collect their breakfast from underneath a bird feeder centered between the first twoÂ porch postsÂ nearest the front door.
A large grapevine wreath wrapped in white Christmas lights hangs on the otherside of the window as aÂ reminderÂ for them not to fly to close during the dayÂ and serves as a distractionÂ from what lies just on the otherside, at night.
It's a place that I come to regroup, relax and reconnect with...myself.
I'm taking a short break, now -- thoughÂ it seemsÂ I haven't done much more than stare at the shadows dancing acrossÂ the front lawnÂ --Â my body alreadyÂ feeling tired long before myÂ childrens' day has evenÂ begun.Â Â
My mind, however, is quiet and I find myself enjoying theÂ nothingness thatÂ exists betweenÂ myÂ sleep-encrustedÂ eyes.
I don't often get the chance to sit like this --Â in fact, it's a guilty pleasure just to be able to write --Â and in less than an hour, my day will be filled with sights and sounds that will, at times, overwhelm every part of me.
But not at this moment.
Right now, I will allow my feelings to ebb and flow, as a tide of sadness slowly begins its way through my chest and collects itself in my throat before spillingÂ down my cheeks, swelling my tongue and causing me toÂ catch my breath in shortÂ drafts.
The pain does not become me (to be sure) but,Â time is precious andÂ I already have very little to spare.
Right now...it's all about me.
A jogger catches my attention andÂ I begin to wonder whether or not I should suck it up,Â grab a pair of sneakers andÂ just walk it off.Â Â But, as the neighbor from across the street (whoÂ I often have waved to for the last thirteen yearsÂ and haveÂ yet to learn her name because, well, she doesn't ever wave back)Â begins to back out of her driveway, I wonder if perhaps it's not me and that she's feeling aÂ bit sad.
I had to say goodbye to a very dear person in my life -- a favorite aunt from very, very far away -- and, in my haste at feeling sorry for myself, I neglected to realize just how much my children have grown fond of having Elizabeth (yes, I was named after her) around.
[wiping Elizabeth's eyes]
"Don't worry, I promise to send pictures of the kids and I'm sure we'll see each other again."
I loveÂ visiting with family and friends -- especially fromÂ very, very far away -- but, it'sÂ theÂ long goodbyes...
[translating for my SIL]
"She says that she hopes that there'll be a day when we can eat, drink and laugh together, again, very soon."
MyÂ mother is not well -- she'll be going back to the doctors soon and decide the next step -- and Aunt Elizabeth willÂ be back perhaps sooner than we think.
[translating for my husband]
"She saysÂ thatÂ she wantsÂ me to take good care of my parents and thatÂ we should call her the momentÂ we need her, orÂ else, because although she's short, she can still kick my ass!"
Yes,Â weÂ share a lot more than just a name.
But, it's okay --Â to feel sad, I mean --Â because the cat is curled up behind my shoulders, the light blue sky is filled with whiteÂ clouds reminding me that it's going to beÂ a pretty day...andÂ that I'm sitting inÂ my favorite chair.
Not for long.
IÂ can hear my husbands alarm clock going off andÂ littleÂ voices in muted conversation, which means I will have to say goodbye, soon.
Separating myself from the sadness and letting it go.
But, it won't be forÂ long -- I'll be back, next time with a warm glass of red wine, sometime tonight --Â because there's always tomorrow.
I'll be leaving my chair for a few days -- as I regroup, relax and reconnet...with my husband -- but,Â you are more than welcome to join me here...or here...and here at the house...when IÂ can share pictures...ofÂ another favorite place of mine...and hope toÂ be feeling better, again...on Monday.
TGIF, early, and remember to B.Y.O.C.!Â
[photo credit:Â Westin Hotel and Resorts]