you have already made thousands of people smile. you have told jokes no one else will ever think of. only you will write the words that whisper in your head, only you will be your mother’s first daughter. you have already changed the world and there’s no going back.
you can’t do everything but you can call your best friend and ask her questions you stopped making time for. you can sit with her answers and not try to fix it. you can shut the door and cut the lights and breath in the quiet. you can bask in this gift of unstructured, unscheduled, unhurried time. you can learn a new instrument and not try to be good, play your favorite childhood game and not watch the clock, read books that are not intellectual or political or literary but human.
we’re resting and trees are still growing, tall and brave. we’re pausing and the gray fog that suffocates our city is receding, day by day. we’re stopping and the pigeons and squirrels and mice are still eating and playing and building and that’s enough for them, it’s always been enough. lake michigan is clear and healing and one day soon you’ll dig your toes in the sand and feel so goddamn grateful. our cities are still and the mountains have never been happier.
you can’t fix it but you can picture it, can’t you, the way the sun will be shining, the table will be packed with people you love, you’ll lean in close and linger late into the night because it’s been so long. we’ll work less and laugh more. we’ll go to the doctor when we’re hurting and rest when we’re aching. we won’t just tolerate each other, we’ll feel for each other, feed each other, love each other so much more than we ever have. we’ll give everything we don’t need and be light with gratitude. we’ll do less and have more.
you can’t fix it today but you’ll always remember: the world froze and the rain kept falling, the oceans kept spitting salt and air, the spring buds emerged, baby-green and hopeful. the world stopped and it was not the end.