After the storm, the windchime is still in its spot. It was a gift from the Big Guy’s sister who is not my sister-in-law. She’s my sister.
We didn’t have to go through all the in-fighting that adolescent sisters inflict on their parents. She lives in Southern New England, so we see each other a few times a year. Over the years, we’ve become friends and then truly family.
She brought this chime as an xmas gift a few years ago, and I keep thinking when we build a deck (which could be very far in the future given our ability to procrastinate building decisions), I’ll design a special spot for it. Now it’s hanging form a post that’s sunk into a corner of our very over-grown stone patio. I actually like it there. It seems to survive all kinds of storms, and it’s seems like it’s there to remind me to suck it up and stand firm when things don’t go perfectly.
It’s a lot like the giver in that way, and I’ve been thinking about it a lot the last few weeks as the storms of late autumn bluster through our mountain. My day job has claimed all my daylight hours and even most of my waking night time for the last few weeks. Everything else has disappeared – running, writing, down time. Even if I can set the alarm for my 4 AM writing time, often I do the numbers, realize I’ve slept four hours and reset the clock.
Sometimes it seems like it should be nothing. Writing’s just a hobby, right? But it’s also who I am. Not doing it makes me incomplete. Not providing for my family, however, would create an even bigger hole.
I’ve been there before and not by choice. A few years ago the Big Guy spent a week in the ICU because our then lack of health insurance had deterred him from seeking medial attention until a minor infection became an absess that nearly ended his life. It took years to pay off that bill, but it isn’t the fear of another ruinous bill that helps me accept being incomplete right now. It’s not even the determination never to let lack of insurance determine when we get care. Right now, what’s got me up at 5AM, girding my soul for another soulless day is that wind chime.