The past two days have been the kinds of days that force me to conjure up some glimmer of hope, some positivity, some silver lining in an otherwise bleak landscape. Yesterday, for example, included an unwieldy stack of chairs getting the best of me, an unexpected (and, it turns out, very expensive) car repair, and another tiny, predictable disappointment - one I had anticipated but that hurt a bit nonetheless. At the end of the day, I was exhausted and driving the company car because my husband was driving my car while his was towed away unusable. It was the last straw - a reckless, angry driver who thought I cut him off followed me from Dora's daycare center to my neighborhood. I took a detour to the police station, which finally deterred him, but not before I had become totally shaken by the experience.
Today we learned the full extent of the cost of the car repair, muddled our way through all manner of logistics to solve our transportation woes, and puzzled over the 4th day in a row in which our usually charming, happy girl has been fussy and complaining of feeling bad. Both Brian and I felt like we were losing it today - more than once I felt tears taking over while trying to work, trying to stay on top of the impossibly stressful tasks that face me in the coming months of my job, feeling more trapped than ever by responsibilities, emails, meetings, new debts.
In the midst of all of this, I have been reminded of the solace that can be found in simple beauties and pleasures. Last night, I found comfort in the rhythm and familiarity of cooking, in the promise of spring found in rows of green asparagus, in the simple deliciousness created by combining them in a hot oven with olive oil and coarse salt.
Amid my current turmoils I found joy in the fact that Dora's new, short haircut reveals that she has inherited the little cowlick I have at the nape of my neck, the one that pushes my hair to one side when its cut short.
Through the fog I saw a beacon of light from friends near and far, who pick up my daughter and bring her home for me, who let me borrow their car, who offer a listening ear, even if electronically. From 723 miles away, my heart was warmed by the fact that my friend Kendra and I, on almost the same day, took nearly the same snowy photograph without even knowing it.
These difficulties, too, shall pass, but perhaps they are necessary as a reminder to notice the small things, the little niceties of life that are easier to ignore when all is going smoothly, the little unique blessings only we can see on our own lives, the silver lining in the otherwise gray cloudy sky.