I had the opportunity to recharge my battery this past weekend during an all-too-brief visit with a dear friend. I don't get to see her often, but when we are able to communicate, we do it marathon-style - endless paragraphs in sporadic e-mails and long hours reminiscing and catching up on the phone or in person. I am fortunate to have several close friends that I cherish, and I always appreciate the opportunity to pause my life and just spend time laughing and confiding. Making time for other people is important to me, though I will readily admit that I do not always put forth enough effort. I hope I never alienate those around me, pushing them away, discarding friendships like used Kleenex, until one day they no longer have my phone number or know where I live. I have seen one friend in particular do this, and it makes me sad for her self-induced isolation.
Work continues at a frenetic pace, and I have been spending my weekends and evenings working on a large design project for my alma mater. I am grateful for the freelance work and the extra income, and I am grateful that it is work I enjoy instead of a chore, though I do look forward to the completion of this project. With such an uncertain future in this economy, I am trying to do anything that will help cushion us from a potential financial blow, even though it keeps me from lounging on the couch with Husband as much as I would like.
Mostly, I look forward to spring. It is the season of renewal, and I think we all could use some fresh circumstances and new perspective. I can't wait for the first day when I don't have to wear a heavy, down-filled coat; when I can landscape my barren property with flowers and till my garden; when I can take long, slow, comfortable walks after dinner in the evening glow.
And today, what I wish most of all, is to stand at the edge of a pond in the tall, soft grass. To feel the afternoon sun warm my cheeks. To dig into a plastic cup filled with dark, rich dirt and squirming pink worms. To flick my wrist, casting my fishing line out gracefully and far. To watch the ripples on the water settle until they appear once again, suddenly, around the red-and-white bobber. To feel the excitement of a catch and to show off my prize to my fellow fishermen, my dearest loves.
I haven't been fishing in a long, long time. I miss it so. Last summer my father, my fishing companion, was battling a silent assailant, and he could not fish from a hospital bed. I hope this summer will be different. I hope this summer will be the time to take up my beloved pastime once again, even if all I catch is a content heart and a sunburnt face.
I hope you have hope, too.