Anne Lamott always talks about life not having a manual.
I have a hard time knowing that regardless of what I read, what movies I watch, or which people I connect with, there will always be a curve and incline.
We are all feeling it, thinking it.
The Earth keeps moaning and we are feeling its wrath.
I think people are getting tired and weary, and all the weight that gravity lays on our shoulders is wearing us thin.
Two police officers were killed in my city this weekend. A senseless act of violence, among so many, fed with fear.
My community is heartbroken. Not just because they were cops, but because they were people in our community.
Southerners are emotional people.
They probably won’t admit it, but that’s just being Southern.
I feel their weight, not because I’m also a Southerner but because they are my people. We all mourn together. I take an active part in feeding this community, so in a sense, I worry for them and take their burdens as I hope they take mine.
It is a tough season for so many. My family. My friends. Moving. Change. Fear of the inevitable unknown.
Time is so uncertain and it is so precious of a thing.
So I settle into myself, for at least a moment. I let sadness in and I let it out. I do the same with all of those things. I become vulnerable with the people I work with, and it’s hard. It’s hard to lead and to also be vulnerable, though I think the best leaders are. We confuse vulnerability with weakness, when it is the opposite. It is strength. And it is your immeasurable power as a human being.
I grew up keeping so much in. A fist clenched tight with worry and anger and doubt.
I’ve certainly had my growing seasons, and also months where I wilt a bit.
But I have also learned that exposing your wounds to air helps to heal.
Sure, there are others things that heal. Time and a bit of care.
Okay. A lot of care. Self-care. Other-people-care.
Ice cream-and-warm apple cobbler-care.
These words are the sound of settling, of embracing my humanness and I want to crumble and dissolve into something bigger. Something, somewhere that knows me and places its palm on my arm to say, “Broken world, son.”
I hear those three words more often than not, floating around in my subconscious, reminding me that we are beyond fixing.
But we are not beyond healing.
And we are not beyond changing and growing and shifting. We are all okay to do that.
We are okay to open.
We are okay to bloom when the sun shines brightly and we have just enough water in our veins to be a gift to others.
In these seasons, we are not asking anything but to be loved and heard.
To be set free and to live as wounded healers.
To be fierce sons and daughters of the Beloved.
I am okay today.
And though I wish I had that manual for tomorrow, or the day after that, but I do not. Neither do you.
If you need me, I will be in my summer-warm kitchen, shoo’ing off a few fruit flies and washing dishes.
I will offer you a place at my table.
We will both dissolve into that something bigger and embrace our humanness.
And maybe, just maybe,
there will be apple cobbler.