09:27. I have tears in my eyes as I write this. I am aware that sounds sappy. I am part of a Tree, so that is okay with me. Let the sap flow and let it be. I cry and let the sap flow out of me. Let my later spring-blooms attract the honeybees.
Let them drink my nectar, let them help the Great Garden to self-propagate. For I have drunk of theirs also, and in so doing, lifted such a weight.
I got tears in my eyes because soon it is my birthday, and people ask me what I want, and I keep telling them I don’t want anything, because I’m awfully particular and have all I need, though I do love flowers, and handmade cards, and simple words, whether spoken or otherwise. My friend, a fellow lady of the lake — the one with her little white dog, Jeannette — she’d remembered my birthday, under the same sign as hers, and she gave me a gift I’d never asked her for — early — she knew she may not see me again soon, since the schools were yesterday closing, here in France, indefinitely. She brought me a gorgeous, end-winter, hand-held unwrapped bouquet of flowers, the most beautiful winter flowers I had ever seen; star-shaped and softest pink and deepest crimson, with tinges of green like a glow. What are they called? I asked in French, “Hellebore, mais on dit plutôt rose de Noël,” she said. More often called rose of Christmas.
And though I felt awful, absolutely awful that in my recent selfishness I’d not remembered her birthday, except just before it, but then I had not seen her, and now, just after, and empty-handed, I did apologize, but did not wallow in that feeling of shame and regret, because I knew her tender heart would not want me to.
I drank in the scent of the flowers she held out to me, and hugged them gently to me, and then I hugged her shoulders to mine gently with my free arm, explaining that’s how we greet and thank one another in Canada, and she hugged back, and said yes but with the Corona virus… and I said yes that’s why the hug is perfect, and better than the French cheek-kissing, for times like these. And she agreed.
But I got tears in my eyes just now because I haven’t known what to write on this blog, and I knew I had been going in a downward spiral of feelings, also related to drinking and whether or not to drink again, after my one year of sobriety is finished, and now my birthday coming up, and wanting to invite my neighbours so that I may enjoy their company and share my deep love for them, but again never doing it, and perhaps I am not ready yet, and perhaps I needed a break, and to feel safe, and ponder life, and perhaps that was okay, and the Tree, the Tree says “let it be, let it be.”
And now, just when I opened this entry, this blank page, it was because I suddenly felt so moved to share my sudden realization — that I am so, so very grateful, for this 11 months and 18 days of sustained sobriety — though I never count the months or days, unless writing on this blog — because they have given me clarity — terrible, painful, muddled clarity, but such a progress, such a slow, slow, spiralling progress, and here I am again, nearing my birthday, nearly one year later, and I will soon turn 47, and that sounds old but I feel young, and I feel like a new thing growing, here, next to my Tree, in the muddy ides of March.
11 months, 18 days of sustained sobriety.
14:11. Edit: A fellow blogger posted about the serious dangers of the Corona virus right after I made this post. I feel I should clarify here that the friend in question had already exchanged cheek-kisses with me as per local custom, before I hugged her. Some people seem to think hugging is more dangerous; to me that makes no sense, since in a hug, the breath is directed away from each other’s faces, no skin touches (at least not here, outside in winter time, we are all well covered), and no lips make contact with cheeks that others later will also kiss, as per local custom. When I write and publish quickly, sometimes I miss these details. Apologies for any fears I have inadvertently caused, regarding this person’s life. My intentions were good. My actions of course are not always perfect.