Today is December 1, 2012 and it has been 8 months and one day since my father died and almost 11 months since the death of my grandmother.
It is fascinating because the second after I typed that sentence, The Commodores’ Jesus is Love, a song we played at his memorial service, came up in my I-Tunes playlist. And now I’m forced to begin these sentences through tears.
This has been a challenging year, to say the least and I’ve learned to both wear and mask my grief in public. I am finding my way through the more private and deep moments where grief manages to freeze time and space with its power.
While there have been major storms, I’ve also experienced a series of smaller events that have made this year remarkable. Such a significant confluence of circumstances has forced me to look at myself through a very clear lens. I’ve had moments when I felt totally centered along with embarrassing and awkward moments where I’ve made poor choices. It has been a miraculous and messy year that has revealed a truth that I firmly believe will positively impact the course of my life.
In the book The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho, there is a moment where the protagonist is in crisis. At sunrise he was on one continent, certain of how each day would go, but decides to embark on a journey to find his treasure. By sunset, a series of choices and events leave him on a different continent where he does not speak the language, is robbed of all his money, and mourns over how his life changed so suddenly and drastically. Coelho uses this crisis to share wisdom through passages including, “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” He ends the section with the protagonist, a Shepherd boy, realizing “that he had to choose between thinking of himself as the poor victim of a thief and an adventurer in quest of his treasure.” He decides to embrace his adventure and journey.
The truth about this crisis filled year is that just as much as it has brought me to my knees, it has also cultivated a deep reservoir of hope, faith and love. I have witnessed amazing expressions of love and experienced the miracle of support this year. As I enter the final days of 2012, I recognize with a level of gratitude and depth that life can bring triumph or tragedy, and thousands of experiences in between. This year has taught me that each experience provides an opportunity for you to powerfully shape the direction of your life. I have decided, just like the Shepherd boy, that in this life, my life, I’m looking for treasure.
As I write these last words Nina Simone’s version of Here Comes the Sun, started to play. I believe it Nina, with all of my heart.