Within the waves of grief, there are plateaus, islands upon which the pain becomes gentler and more malleable. Like some kind of divine medicine, the loss seems to recede from focus. The specter of what no longer is becomes a loving recollection of what was, and what will be matters almost as much as what cannot.
Examining a fallen leaf. Detecting the scent of the season in the air. Touching a plush fabric. Smiling at an astute comment. Receiving a gift. Experiencing kindness. Feeling the wind on the skin. Tasting clean water. Appreciating a bird in flight. A dog at play. A squirrel hoarding its meal.
If we remain still in the fragile silence of these moments, we are allowed a glimpse of the raw and humble self who is preparing to emerge from the cocoon of grief. We are granted the wisdom to recognize the root of who we are, and to befriend the wound that lives there. In that wisdom, we are introduced to the simple truth: we must feel in order to be whole. We possess the strength to do just that.
These quiet moments are not designed to endure. Grief must continue its work, and its inevitable return carries us away more quickly than we would like. We feel the jolt of the cycles of the moon, the wild, midnight water dictating our movements with terrifying ferocity. But, if we have recognized the plateau of peace for what it is, we no longer struggle as much against the tide. We may not like it, but we look forward, at the very least, to that tiny moment in which the beloved self promises to appear once more, and, potentially, to remain.