It’s been a long few months of drought here in Queensland. Every day we looked up into clear blue skies and wondered when the rains would come, hoping it would be soon.
The storm clouds came this week, heavy and dark, and dropped gentle, steady rain upon us. Water soaked into the cracked earth, softening grass browned and crisped by the sun, cleaning the air and washing dust from every surface.
It brought life back to our little world, and hope to my heart. Watching the rain fall reminded me that no matter how desolate the situations we find ourselves in, relief and life will return one day. We have no control over when it will return, but we can make the waiting easier by caring for our dear selves, connecting to those amazing people who love us, and finding something good each day to keep us going.
I spent much of Sunday on the back veranda, watching the rain fall while I read books, wrote in my journal, and took a nap. I’ve been reading “The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brené Brown again. It’s one of those books I like to read regularly to realign myself with wholehearted living, a life of courage, compassion, and connection.
This read-through showed me how I’d slipped back into self-sufficiency, the wonky kind, the kind that makes you believe you have to do everything by yourself, that asking for help or being in need makes you a bother, an annoyance, instead of just a regular ol’ human being. And I closed my book and went inside and pulled a chair up to Bear’s desk and we had a good chat. I told him the fears and stresses I’d been keeping inside so I wouldn’t annoy him, and he laughed and shook his head and pulled me in for a cuddle and reminded me that he actually likes hearing about my fears and stresses AND happinesses and successes. That’s what love is. That’s what friendship is.
And I cried and hugged him tight back because when you’ve been keeping stuff bottled up out of fear or shame and you can finally let it out and realize that you never, ever had to keep it stuffed in after all, well, it’s quite a relief. And you feel both foolish and inestimably comforted at the same time.
It’s funny, isn’t it, how much comfort there is in letting your guard down and being weak and wobbly and messy, and discovering you’re loved anyway?
And funny how we can’t find that comfort until we’re brave enough to reach out and connect with people. To let them see us with all our doubts and worries and spectacular stuff-ups.
It’s a risk, always. But one worth taking. And bit by bit, person by person, we build a little retinue of people who love us anyways, always, no matter what, and let us love them that way in return.
I’m grateful for that kind of love from Bear, from my friends, and for the comfort and strength it provides.
I’m also grateful for the non-people comforts of life, the rainy afternoons and good books and bowls of homemade soup.
We had lots of soup this week, drawing inspiration from what’s growing in the gardens: onions, carrots, potatoes, fresh herbs. Sunday was a creamy Curried Carrot with lots of fresh ginger, while today was Beef Vegetable with carrots, onions, peas, and a rich, savory broth fragrant with thyme.
Now I’m going to settle in with a cup of elderberry and hawthorne tea and read a bit before bed. I have a big day of wood-working ahead of me tomorrow, and an early night is sounding rather wonderful.
What are some of your favorite non-people comforts? xo