I have learned more of the importance of humility in the past two days than I have in an entire fiscal year.
Strong statement, but I would never write such a thing unless it were the truth. Yesterday was most easily the lowest I have felt in quite some time. The universe pulled a fast one on me and ripped the rug out from under my feet around 4 pm yesterday. After a shiteous day at work, I came home to an equally shiteous email from my tree planting boss situated in Dryden. In the shortest of form, the planting contract that many of us were banking on to begin as of May the first, fell through thanks to Recessional fingers choking the life out of the milling/forestry industry in northern Ontario. The news was quite a shock to my system and I did cry for a few hours at the thought of being homeless, jobless and poor; but after a few grounding phone calls with the people in my life who continue to give endlessly/graciously (and a few surprising others), I came back down to earth and perspective and practicality soon took over the reigns from my initial state of terror and horror.
Yes, this is shitty. No, it is not the end of the world. Yes, I will have to be creative with my living situation in the next few months. No, this is not nearly as bad for me as it might be for the Papas who have to go home to their families to break the news that the community mill shut down and in turn, they too will have to get a bit creative.
Get over yourself, you are not the only one affected. Not even by a long shot. These thoughts turned over and over in my head until my sobs eventually subsided along with self-pity. Grandma called--concerned--and left a very endearing message on my voicemail. She closed her warm message with an adage that I have been spoon fed since I was small, When the Lord closes a door, He opens a window. While I am not sure how I feel about our Father in heaven airing out my well planned life, her prayer threw a blanket of familiar calm over me. Alfie also received similar words of wisdom from his own mother. Bless these mothers who pray on our voicemail's. I am so lucky. Once my obvious crying face became semi presentable to the public, I did what I always do in moments of absolute despair: I took Jessica Alba down from her high shelf and pedaled as fast and as hard and as evenly as I ever have. In doing so, my body began to remember to breathe. Breathing evenly and in time with pedal strokes on a fixed gear is imperative. Dressed in a thin hood and fingerless gloves, I let the wind take us. Alba and I ended up in the Exchange after an intense ride through downtown and chinatown. I wept openly as I rode, assaulting pedestrians and drivers alike with my alarming emotions; but I didn't care. After one coffee, I wove back home through traffic at a less breakneck pace and was fairly calm by the time I reached my home.
Back inside, the afternoon faded into the well-lit evening and I cleaned my bike, listened to records and waited for Rabbi to come. After a few more fits of despair, she came bearing wine and a brave face. "Meg, be humble", she said at one point while I stood at the foot of my bed, nose upturned at the thought of physically taking up the offers of spare beds and couches of my friends and family. I would never want to put anyone out. "Be humble", she said again and eventually the words sank in and I let out a small "Okay, I will". That is a friend. A friend is someone who will take you by the shoulders when your face is swollen from sadness and say "be humble, take what you have in front of you, say thank you, and let yourself be carried for once in a goddamned lifetime" even though it hurts her more to say it than it is for me to hear it. Okay, I will. Thank you Rebecca, you are a very good friend and I am a very good spoon. With all of that said, with that humbling exchange of words passed between the two of us in my bedroom with intense eye contact, we pulled up my proverbial bootstraps together and stalked out the door arm in arm.
We have enough, because we have each other.
The night at the Lo pub was one of sobriety and sincerity. I connected with many people and managed to hold a few very remarkable conversations despite the din of the room. As I walked home with the course of the day's events flipping backwards in my head like a Rolodex, I was calm and hopeful.
When shit hits the proverbial fan, there are always breakfast dates and babies to hold. That is how my Good Friday began, good. Two words come to mind when I think of this morning's meal shared with the man with the lovely penmanship: lovely and refreshing. I only nearly choked once during the meal and after, I almost let myself skip home. It was too nice (and DRY) not to cycle, so again I hauled a sparkling Alba down from her high and mighty shelf to showboat around my neighborhood. It felt so good. So, so good. No trust me, it felt good. My favorite barista/furniture snob in the world was working at my neighborhood espresso haunt and we were both genuinely psyched to see each other. Abi poured me my third cup of coffee of the day and both of us could barely contain our pure joy for the birth of sister Spring. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. She is here. He also poured a mean americano for my last night's savior, and I joyfully unlocked my bicycle and rode west holding the paper in one hand and Rabbi's coffee in the other. Homegirl answered the door looking bedraggled and together we curled up in the living room bathing in the morning sun.
From her house I pedaled over to Kaleb and Maiya Papaya's to shepherd the babe children into their respective easter clothes and to jostle the baby lady while Kaleb showed me how awesome he was at brushing his teeth before all of our family piled into the house. The light was clean and the family happy. It was one of the best gatherings we have had in a while. Everyone was funny and warm, there were quiche and eggs and parsley salads, good cheeses, good wine, barside gin martinis straight up with extra olives with my cousin Jen, a walk down the Crescent, paparazzi, puddles, iced and sprinkled paska (Auntie Marj totally nailed that one out of the park, as per usge), and one very tired baby. Maiya was pissy near the end and we quietly excused ourselves to escape to the inviting rocking chair upstairs. Drenched in slatted light in the yellow baby room with that gorgeous girlchild sprawled across my chest, we slept. She honked softly like a baby goose and when we both woke, we were smiling and rosy cheeked. Who knew how good a tired baby was for the soul? Very good, actually.
For what it is worth, thank you for the kindness and inquiry, I will be just fine.
I have enough because I have plenty.