|Evening at the ranch, Magdalena, NM, June 2012|
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -
And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -
I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.
-Emily Dickinson (still my favorite poet)
A bird's song can stop a mind from writhing in darkness, and hope can keep a person moving forward despite setbacks and obstacles and doubt and fear. Ten days ago I finished my Masters program in marital/family therapy, three years and nine months after setting out on what seemed like a last-ditch effort to rebuild a life worth living. It was hard work, but the structure provided a sort of scaffolding and every success an essential block in a new foundation. I pause now to catch my breath and enjoy the summer with my kids, and to prepare for the next phase: living what was in the beginning a sketched-out dream sustained mostly, and sometimes only, by hope. I could not have done this alone and have so many people to thank for encouraging and supporting me along the way....