The Long March

It’s been awhile. Every Friday, which I have off from work, I’ve woken up with lines floating around in my mind and a vague intention to write. “Writing more” is a New Year’s resolution from me and so far, I’m on pace for once per month. Better than never, right?

But something has kept me from writing. Something has kept from doing a lot of the things I’ve been saying I want and need to do this month. A kind of general malaise that can take over in the hazy period between winter and spring. The weather isn’t warm – but it’s not hunker-down-get-cozy cold, either. The days aren’t long with light – but it’s not inky dark like the middle of winter. Anyone from the North knows that winter isn’t really miserable until you hit the depths of January and February: the darkest, coldest, snowiest slog of winter. Is there an opposite to the “dog days of summer”? February would be it.

But working in a school system, your schedule revolves around when testing, report cards, and vacation are. And that makes March miserable. It’s a long month with no vacations, special days off, or holidays to celebrate. The weather is indecisive and you have to move the clocks forward. Report cards loom making your work more data-focused and driven than is fun. The long March.

With the stress at work and the weird weather that is the end of winter, I have been in a funk. It’s been hard to keep the apartment clean, and really easy to order take out twice in a week. It’s been hard to practice any of the 4 instruments we own, and really easy to make it all the way to season 5 of Scrubs. Worst of all, it’s been hard to make it to Church and do Lent and pray, and really easy to let everything seem bigger than it is.

I’m not naive enough to believe that simply praying or going to Lenten services would have kept this month from being a lazy, unmotivated, moody one. I mean, that’s life, right? There are cycles, and sometimes you’re at the top and sometimes you’re not. To everything there is a season. And so even though I don’t feel remotely spiritual or in touch with the Paschal season, I’m going to put stock in a God who can do a lot with a little. Who can feed thousands with a few loaves of bread and some fish. Who was satisfied with Veronica wiping his Son’s face.

On Holy Thursday, I found myself headed out to Boston to meet some friends for dinner. And it struck me, suddenly, that every year of my life had included some kind of services during Lent. Except this year. I offered the only prayer I had: “Lord, this moment is all I can give you right now. I hope it’s enough that I remembered, and that I’m taking a minute. Please let this be enough for now.”

I have to believe it is enough. If it’s not, then we’re probably all screwed because there is so much in this life that can bog us down or distract us or cast shadows in our hearts and minds. Even for those like myself who lead simple, happy, #blessed lives. It has to be enough that sometimes a 60-second prayer on the Mass Pike is all we have.

I suspect it is, because since that small prayer, I’ve seen a daffodil. I’ve gotten a new vacuum that works and makes our carpets look like a freshly mowed baseball field, with all the zigs and zags. I downloaded a new album that I’m enjoying. And I’m here, sitting to write, like I’ve been promising myself for 3 weeks.

So Happy Easter, everyone! May you be blessed with enough.



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