the Particularity of Now

I drove the hour-and-a-half to my son's place on a sunny Saturday morning. The road--dark gray and double-laned--swept around hills and rural villages, and flew past snow-covered farm fields. Bare of traffic.

Surprised by the emptiness, because I'd been on this road before during rush hour, I savored the journey, the wide-open vista, and the comment a friend had made earlier in the week.

Usually I love January, its lengthening bright days that foreshadow spring. But this year, January had been a hard month. An intense continuation of the past few months in which life felt too complicated, both personally and professionally, and I felt too inadequate to cope with its challenges. And my stomach was definitely not happy with me. 

Enter the friend. She re-framed my perspective, affirmed the strengths she saw. And a settling happened within my soul and lifted my chin as I absorbed her words and soaked up the sun's rays from the blue sky and the white fields and the quiet peace of the bare road before me.