It’s Easter morning, and I didn’t get much sleep last night. I was up until 4:00 and woke up at 7:10 and couldn’t get back to sleep. My eyes are gritty and it will be a real feat if I can get through this day without sheer weariness breaking me down. Oh what am I saying? I am breaking down already.
Back in the days of my deepest darkness, one of the things I did to cope was run. Even later, during my pregnancy and with my baby after she was born, I’d walk for miles around the Fairway Park neighborhood. Usually when I ran it was very early in the morning, when it was still dark. I remember the stars, and I remember the houses, the homes, as I passed them. Most of them were full of sleep, like a sigh that surrounded them. Some were just waking up. There were lights in a window, or the smell of fabric softener from a dryer running in the garage. Some runs were in the winter rain and cold, and some were during the holidays, with brightly colored lights still lit here and there. My later walks were through the neighborhood, but in the daylight, and along the walking path on Mission Boulevard.
All along those streets, as I ran, as I walked, I shed heartache like droplets of sweat. Or tears, because I wept countless tears along those streets. It has been many years since I moved to Castro Valley in 1999. Occasionally I have driven through the neighborhood, on the way to somewhere else, and I cannot drive through it without emotions surrounding me and clutching me. It is as though my sorrow is a ghost that haunts those streets.
Today, on Easter, I am feeling a desire to go back there where I felt so much pain, to visit those ghosts, to see if there is anything they can tell me. Maybe I feel a desire to go there because there is some magnet in those streets that pulls the grief from me, and I need to shed some. Or perhaps I just want to go there to relive the horrendous depths of my darkness and despair just to show myself how far I have come, that the night never lasts and the sun does shine again.
I probably won’t go. Perhaps it is enough just to know it, to consider it, to remember that day and look at this day. A nap would probably be a better idea, and perhaps a movie. There are times when a little wallowing in grief is what the spirit needs to grow, to move to the next level. But at other times, we just need to get up and get on with life.
And this is how we survive.