Sometimes we don’t know our own strength. Days fall on top of one another and are stitched together in quilt-like fashion so that by journeys end we’re covered in the warmest blanket just when the sun sets.
I think about all that my boys and our family have been through over the past six months; from my back surgery (which grows bigger in my mind in magnitude the further I get away from it), to selling most of what filled our home, to being hospitalized with a mean stomach virus, to then selling our home, losing Sarah, buying a new home and subsequently being displaced for over a month.
In the past month, the boys and I have spent somewhere in the ballpark of 28 hours in the car with the longest stretch being 6 hours without stopping. We’ve flip flopped between my parent’s home and Willy’s parent’s home, stayed in hotels, and spent one glorious night in our new home, together as a family, prior to packing up and filling the gas tank once again when the construction workers showed up the next morning. The boys and I had been without Willy for much of the month, which left me to field the “I want to see Sarah” requests and the “Where’s Papa” inquiries and the “I wanna go to our new home” proclamations.
Each morning, for the time we were in Arizona, Hooper had been getting up earlier than usual and crawling into bed to sleep some more or to simply allow me to hold him in my arms. This is a new thing; we don’t encourage the boys to find comfort in our bed. But there in Arizona, I think we both needed it; a routine and some added comfort to remind us that home is wherever we are together.
I spend a lot of time observing my boys; watching the way they interact with the world, with the dirt, with one another. I notice them take notice of the sun setting. I watch them squat gnats away. I watch them fight and I watch them entertain one another. And if there’s anything I’ve learned over these past few weeks it’s that they’re strong and adaptable and happy.
And on this particular evening on the Apache Trail, I couldn’t help but take notice of the way the mountains are layered, one in front of the other. A reminder that life does not read from left to right, but instead is comprised of peaks and valleys that are beautiful because they exist together – side by side – and are more breathtaking than any one peak or valley could ever be on it’s own.