Unexamined Hope

Getting back to work has been more difficult than I anticipated, with the old gremlins popping up unexpectedly in corners of the day.

Leonard is sick. I’m sure he caught the virus that E. and I had last week. I hate leaving him alone for the day when he isn’t feeling well, though I know he just sleeps under the coffee table or on the sofa. Maybe it is the stress of getting back to a work schedule that has all of us vulnerable to all kinds of threats. Real and perceived.

I finally saw the hedgehog that has taken up residence under the holly bush. Leonard is curious, but fortunately, he hides behind my legs while he sniffs at the air from a safe distance. The creature’s not a hare, he knows that much. It makes me happy to know there’s a hedgehog here again. I can’t even begin to explain why. We will only catch glimpses of him in the half-dark for a few more months before he sleeps for the winter. But somehow knowing he is there… like a weird kind of vague promise of something good.

Unexamined hope.

I keep reminding myself that life is good right now. I am even learning not to brace myself for bad news when a message notification pops up on my phone. T. sends snaps of their new puppy swimming in a pond way up North. I can hear the splashing, and him and his wife laughing softly.

When I think of these kinds of moments, I think of them as little ponds of pleasure in the day: oases I kind of tiptoe around, admiring, but not really daring to immerse myself in; these moments of calm that dot the stressful landscape. But why can’t I flip that mindset and see moments of stress that simply dot a calm landscape? It is probably closer to the truth of my life right now.

Or could be.

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