That’s the way the cookie crumbles

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I’ve lifted my head briefly from my world of stories and sniffles. 

We outpaced all viruses all winter and yet I am felled right before my first exam. 

It started with my daughter who brought it home from school. 

She passed it to my son who shared it with me. 

So we all three are sniffling and aching and coughing while I study and study and study. 

And try to rest. 

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Summer didn’t want to wait. From cold damp days to a scorching sun that had us racing for shade this week.

That’s the thing about mountain living on this island. You get colder winters and hotter summers. 

I think I am dreaming of a little seashore cottage. 

Still waiting for spring. 

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We have hummingbirds fly into our house often.

They move so fast in the world, yet are so docile when I go to lift them up and place them back outside. 

I can reach out my hand and simply take one, and it will sit there and just be. 

It’s a bit how I am looking at this sickness right now that has come at the worst time. 

I’ve got my exams, and having to ferry over to another island to take them, and hotels to stay in, and it’s all so much if I let it be. 

Instead I am laying it down, like a hummingbird in a hand, and just resting my wings. 

Instead of struggling and worrying. 

Just letting it all be exactly how it is. 

 

Little by little

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My silence is so full.

In between hands reaching for me, my every moment heavy with things to do, care for, tend to, I steal chances, seconds, hidden moments behind doors. I am diving deep in these hidden moments, deep into my nights, into words, literature. 

I have been inching my way towards a degree for what seems forever. 

I remember years ago, when having to start all over again, after leaving Columbia University and settling into a school in London, feeling like it was impossible. 

I asked my husband how I could do it all? Keep moving all over the world, raise our children, and get a degree? I told him it would take years as I would only be able to do a little at a time. 

My husband said, the time will pass anyway. 

Those words have pushed me along. Those words have pulled me when I felt like I had no more nights to give to theory to learn and books to memorize. 

The time will pass anyway. 

How perfect for all of us to think about that. Days, months, years will still keep coming, if we are lucky, so even if it’s little by little imagine what you can have at the end of an endeavor.

One paragraph a day and years later you have a novel.

One newly discovered meal a week and perhaps the next year you have your own cookbook. 

One chord a week on an instrument and years later music will flow from your soul.

Time will pass anyway.

My last exams are only weeks away. Some years I could take three courses, some I was only able to inch out one. But I kept on going, little by little. The time has kept passing and here I am all these many, many years later about to have my degree. 

Back I go to Tolstoy and Cervantes, Saramago and Rushdie, Chinua Achebe and Dorris Lessing, so happily swimming in them, in the past, in times when space seemed so much more tangible, the world before our every seconds were filled with the touch of a button.

I will be sad to leave this study which has been my companion for so very long. But I am excited to find a new passion to walk in time with. Even if it’s just little by little. 

“We think we have arrived at the end of the road, but it is only a bend opening onto a new horizon and new wonders.” –The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis, Jose Saramago