I wrote this letter to two friends of mine, Allison and Lauren, for whom 2013 has been rougher than rough–pounding away relentlessly at their armor. And 2013 has pounded me too. But here we are at the end. And it’s enough that we’re here, getting out of bed, counting each breath, and maybe even drawing a bath at the end of the day.
If you have had a rough year, and 2013’s bruises aren’t healing as fast as you would like, then this letter is for you, too.
To My Dearests Allison and Lauren,
I am not a surfer.
I realized this as I stood alone, sand up to my ankles, watching the waves pound the sand at Moku Leia State Park. As I sunk deeper in, others paddled out, ducking their heads into the whitewater. They were heading for bigger surf and better breaks.
The ocean is a line for me. The line where the danger begins. Maybe it’s because I was raised in the frigid waters and unpredictable rip tides of the Pacific Northwest. But more I think it’s fear. Where some sing with the ocean, I watch its beauty in fearful awe.
But here we are, we three. Out in the waves.
We did not want to be out here clinging to a board, as the surf rips us apart.
2013 has rubbed the skin off our knees and elbows and ripped gashes down our legs and left our lungs burning as we gasp for air, panicked and disoriented.
We don’t know how to surf. We’re not prepared. But here we are.
And I just want to write you this letter because some of my voicemails are clumsy and some of my texts are nonexistent and the much-needed visits to hug you and love you and take you to tea are imaginary.
The colors this year have dulled. And I know how much we love color. Life with muted colors is so hard. I don’t know when they’ll come back. But I want you to know that I think of you, when I’m arriving home, crying in the driveway, when I’m punching the padding at kickboxing, when I’m soaking in the tub, trying to relieve the tension.
And I keep you in my prayers. Not in a platitudes sort of way, but in a whenever-I-think-of-it-and-beseech-myself-to-God sort of way.
God is different for me this year.
I just ask God to be with us. Watch with us. Wake with us. Help us to get out of bed each day and start again.
I love you beyond the waves, and I will always be here waiting for you.