I'm rolling down a back street in my janky mini van when I get the news. Another neighbor had showed up back at the jail, and this one was a sucker-punch.
Sometimes we see these things coming - there's heartbreak cooking and it's only a matter of time. Other times they simmer; and we watch from the outside in, staring at that pot and daring it to boil. You know what they say about a watched pot, right?
This guy fell into neither category. I knew he'd seen his fair share of trouble, even recently. But he kept showing up, and his hand rested lightly on his girlfriend, the small of her back, her forearm. He wore his nice t-shirt and met my eye when we laughed about the day we'd met, and the unlikely incident surrounding it.
I don't know why, but I didn't worry about him the way I do others.
It never crossed my mind.
I won't pretend to know him well. But I had my plans, and this wasn't part of them.
Around every corner, I'm met with dead-ends. My good ideas chip away, hit the dirt, crumble at my feet. It shouldn't surprise me, but I'm left slack-jawed and spent.
Good news mingles with the bad until what's left on the table is somehow both bland and risky.
I could get comfy here in this desert, because the truth is, growing hurts. It requires things, like loppers and rain. I'd rather not sit soaking wet, and please don't prune me.
Truth remains, and I repeat it on a loop, allowing my dry bones to be filled with the promise of living water. This feels like endurance and my character could likely use a boost.
Around town, our friends are nudged to new growth, and I with them. So different, but so strikingly similar. I know I'll see another flash in all this dirt, and you'd better believe I'll be ready to snatch it up when I do. But if you believe it for me, you have to believe the same for them.
This is the season of quiet work, hours clocked beneath the soil and hidden in gnarled limbs. It might be quiet here, with gusting winds and the bone-chilling dampness of spring.
But summer is coming, and we're all equal shareholders.
So we'd better grow.
:: This was me almost exactly one year, so maybe there really is something to the seasons. (Or maybe I'll still be dealing with this same exact stuff forever. ;) )