Just Before the Dawn

We’ve spent the last month balls-to-the-walling-it in a manic attempt to clear a build site, put up a yurt, and move it by spring, so we can rent out our house to make ends meet. What can I say? It was a rough year to try to make it on our own financially… or in any other sense, for that matter! The trickle down effect of Corona Virus upon the aerospace industry has left our small business woefully short on funds but for some reason, our bills refuse to adjust themselves accordingly. We are hell bent on giving it everything we’ve got to keep this Pacific Northwest dream alive, though. So it’s yurt life for us if we can only sustain the juggling act for a little while longer.

No trees were harmed during our clearing of this site! Lol These stumps were left behind from the last logging of the property.

For anyone who hasn’t tried to clear a build site and erect a dwelling while juggling a SUPER bored toddler and SUPER bored & also severely-disabled child, I gotta tell you, it’s not easy. But as the weeks have gone on we’ve settled into a routine of semi-functionality that mostly works for us all.

Some days it is a monumental feat just to get out to the site. And yes, theoretically, I could stay behind at the house alone with two small children and try to hold on to the last bit of my sanity. But at this point, if I never see another plastic toy block or adaptive puzzle, or do a full days- worth of transfers, spoon feedings or diaper changes, ever EVER again, I would be just fine.  I am burnt to a crisp on this whole motherhood gig.  But the forest seems to breath some life back into my soul, so that is where we go.

Today, was one of those monumental-feat-kind of days. The morning started out with a robot vacuum running over a pile of dog shit and then spreading it throughout our kitchen and living room before the stench alerted me to the crisis at hand. Needless to say, I was not stoked.   Mopping the entire floor and disassembling our shit-covered vacuum was certainly not on the schedule of things to do before we left the house. And by the time we finally got the boys dressed, loaded up and out to the site, it had started to rain.

I quickly tried to build a fire to keep the kids warm and occupy them with their new favorite activity, the roasting of marshmallows.

The raindrops fell harder and harder as I stumbled my way around the fire pit somehow tripping on every SINGLE Salal root sticking out of the, still wild, ground.

The first flames ignited and then fizzled as they hit the wet paper, sending a plume of smoke directly into my eyeballs just as I tripped on yet another fucking root. Defeated, I looked up toward the mountains and saw the impending storm clouds moving our way.

At that point, an epic temper tantrum began in my head. “Why do I even come out here?!  SO SOOOOO irritating all the fucking steps it takes to get here.. everybody’s whining. Nobody’s enjoying this.  You are a shit mom. Just stay home. Play toys for the 4 millionth time. By the way, why are you so clumsy?! Pick up your feet!! Gaaahhhh I hate it! I hate this! I hate feeling like I’m drowning all the time! I hate the fucking pandemic! I’m done I’m done I’m done!”

As I glanced up through my rage-filled eyes at the mountains ahead of me, I saw that at some point during my rant, blue sky had appeared. The wind had shifted, and the rain clouds were traveling up and over the ridge tops. 

In this moment one of my favorite quotes, one to which I have returned again and again in the hardest moments of life, came to mind.

The darkest hour of night comes just before the dawn. 

Such a true statement and unbelievably accurate analogy for life… at least in my experience.  

When you feel like you cannot go on, when the blackness of night is all-consuming, just hang on a little bit longer. The dawn is coming.  It may not be the epic sunrise for which you’d hoped.  Maybe it’ll just be a crack of brightness through the storm clouds.  A kind stranger who buys your coffee.  And great conversation with a friend.  A fresh new respite worker, here to give you a break. Some version of dawn is always on its way, providing the strength to live another day. 

This last year, this pandemic, this pause of worldly life has contained, for me, some of the darkest hours of my nights. I had no idea how lonely the blackness, how all-consuming the worries of our world, how gripping the anxieties of those long night hours could be.  Irritated and exhausted, each day, I wonder how much longer it will be until we get a break, a chance to rest our bodies, our minds.  Focus on our health.  Set down the responsibilities.  Not be serious.  Play.  Laugh… Really laugh again.

When that blue sky appeared above me today, I was reminded to just. keep. going. To continue forging on through the darkness even though I cannot yet see the dawn ahead. I know it’s there.  It always has been, and it always will be. For as long as there is darkness, there too, shall be light.

Keep going my friends. I know you’re tired. We all are. Reach out. Talk about it. Support each other.

We’ll get through this together, in spirit.

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