As I write this, I’m taking a break from work. I just ate the last bites of the “congratulations.on.successfully.defending.your.dissertation.prospectus chocolate torte” that I got yesterday after (you guessed it) successfully defending my dissertation prospectus.
The peaceful quiet in the house right now is pretty great too. I’m sitting in the dining room of our little cottage while J naps upstairs. Being pregnant seems to bring out her inner-napper. By 3pm each day, she gets all sleepy-eyed. It’s pretty adorable.
Tonight we will host the first Summer Supper Club (SSC) of 2011. SSC is when a bunch of our friends gather at our place for dinner, games, laughter, and lots of great conversation. We’ll do this every other Thursday night, all summer long. We did it last summer, too, and it brought (me, at least) a lot of joy: seeing everyone so regularly, slowing down and just enjoying this community.
May has brought with it so much that is wonderful; I continue to be astonished by this change of tides. January through April broke our hearts in a dozen ways – and some of those wounds will never fully heal – but May brought us this new life, this new being growing inside of my wife. Such a miracle. May brought us good news about my mom’s health: what I was terrified would be cancer turned out to be something much less scary, something we can manage. The relief from this is huge. May brought J’s mom through surgery, brought us clear margins on all of her tumors, and gave J the time to care for her mom, which I think meant a lot to both of them. May got me to the end of the long (worthwhile, but exhausting) journey of prospectus-writing. May brought us this stunning shawl, made for us by our incredible friend M, who cast off on it the day she found out that E died, and who worked on it lovingly for four months before sending it our way:
What’s more, there’s reason to believe that the coming months will follow in May’s path. Next week, we get time with another beloved friend, L, who moved away when I was pregnant with Emmett, and who will be back this way for over a week. We’ve got a few weeks of asparagus season left, and we pick up our first CSA share this coming Wednesday.
I’m settling into summer work (researching for a much.loved professor/friend and writing my dissertation). Though it’s a little daunting, having time to dissertate is such a privilege; I mean, how many people are afforded the space to devote whole periods of their lives to their ideas? It’s a total luxury. I’ll turn 33 on the first day of J’s second trimester, and I can’t think of a better birthday gift than that. And our sweet A (one of the two amazing.beyond.description women I’m blessed to be on this dissertation path with) is planning a move to our town (she’s been a commuter until now), which makes me smile every time I think about it.
I know we’ll face other periods of hardship. But right now, I’m pretty proud of us for making it through this one. And if I had to pick one thing that I’m most grateful to E for having taught me, it would be that when you can access joy – when you can feel fully, gratefully, confidently alive and in love with that fact – you should do it.