I returned to a place I had previously enjoyed with my ex. I didn’t think about it as I was planning the trip with a friend. I was just excited to be on an extended weekend road trip especially with a friend I hadn’t spent much time face to face with in years! I was actually a bit surprised when I found myself in some of the same places where I’d made memories with my ex with no twinge of bittersweetness. I was savoring the memories I was making. Former memories flashed from time to time, but it was less about where I’d been and more about where I am.
I felt grateful. My heart was filled with a sense of healing.
In a gift shop, I marveled at some hand-carved animals. A bright blue bird repeatedly caught my eye. I wasn’t sure why, because I’m not much of a bird person. But it was as if this one was singing a song of beauty and freedom—and healing.
Healing is a process. I know there is more healing to do, because wounds and tenderness seem to be uncovered with new experiences and ongoing connections, but for some reason, that bird reminded me of the forward motion, the progress I’ve made.
A bird soars high and dips low. It works hard, and it rests. It gets tossed around, overlooked, and wounded. It explores a variety of perspectives and learns along the way. It is delicate and strong.
The salesperson gently wrapped the bird, and I brought him home, where he now has a home to remind me of where I’ve been and where I am. He’s a small reminder of bright hope.
And I am grateful.