Eighteen Months.

  Returning from an epic adventure, and choosing to stay home from another, I find myself springing to life as the earth around me wakes up. I have a week until I return to work and am carefully curating a weeks worth of personal retreat time each morning as I set my intention at the little altar I have made in our living room. There I have gathered feathers, stones, bones and crystals, small trinkets, candles, my favorite photo of Isaac, his ashes, and some plant life. There I gather my thoughts and hold space for the past, the present and the future with fierce grace. I pray and sob and day dream there for a few moments of quiet and gather myself for the day that lies open like an unwritten book. 

Today was the day to get the house back to the sacred space of a hard working man! It is truly an honor to care for someone who cares so well for me. Groceries and bedding and laundry. Also; a nap. Then a walk in my yard to take inventory of my projects amongst the things I nurture and that also nurture and sustain me. Raspberries, perennials, chickens, weeds, compost. A sweet pup who can never get enough fetching in nor exhaust herself on my love. She waits for me whenever I pause. It is good to love and be loved.

The sunshine warms me deep into my bones. I find myself singing and smiling and breathing into each moment with a spark in my heart. This trip we took to one of our favorite places invigorated me. Perhaps it is the grounding energy of the “emerald forest” or the savage and cleansing waters of mother ocean. Perhaps it was the enduring friendships that uplifted me far from my home. Perhaps it is time.

A week from now will mark 18 months without my beautiful boy. It is still impossible to fathom and yet, each day carries me further from any point I could have believed was possible; that I could survive, that life could be sweet. I’m not sure how, but I find myself living, in earnest, with more gratitude and grace than ever before. 

I am learning how to sway, like the trees, rooted, despite the storms, taking in the life sustaining energies of nourishing sun and rain, holding my own even when I grow crooked sometimes, always reaching toward the light. This is all any of us can do, amen?

Sometimes I feel myself as a raging sea– quick to anger, impatient with myself and others. But conversely I find, too, that my heart is more open, compassion extends further, peace has more purpose, love has more strength. This is life. 

Prior to this trip, my body had started growing thicker, heavy with the weight of grief, my mind had become a wilderness, growing more dense with the bracken of angst. I was struggling to love this emerging self, I was afraid. But somewhere along Highway 101 I felt myself familiar again. A glimpse. A good mirror that showed me all that remains beautiful within me and all that is still glorious in my innermost home, wherever I find myself. For so long I have thought someday I might be myself again someday, just around the corner. But now I see that is not possible. My innocence has been removed like a veil lifted. I thought this was sad but it is simply a sacred truth. I cannot return to the past, I can only sweep the doorstep and keep the door open to my heart. At home in the world.

If you are searching, I feel you. Keep this in mind and love…

Nothing lasts forever

No one lives forever

Keep that in mind, and love
Our life is not the same old burden

Our path is not the same long journey

The flower fades and dies

We must pause to weave perfection into music

Keep that in mind, and love
My beloved, in you I find refuge
Love droops towards its sunset

To be drowned in the golden shadows

Love must be called from its play

And love must be born again to be free

Keep that in mind, and love
My beloved, in you I find refuge

Without seeing my love, I cannot sleep
Let us hurry to gather our flowers

Before they are plundered by the passing winds

It quickens our blood and brightens our eyes

To snatch kisses that would vanish

If we delayed
Our life is eager

Our desires are keen

For time rolls by

Keep that in mind, and love
My beloved, in you I find refuge
Beauty is sweet for a short time

And then it is gone

Knowledge is precious

But we will never have time to complete it

All is done and finished

In eternal heaven

But our life here is eternally fresh

Keep that in mind, and love
(Rabindranath Tagore, 1861-1941)


Published by: christinaryanstoltz

I write to touch the supple center of unguarded ache~ To release myself from the pressure of not knowing how to move forward from the unfathomable loss of my beloved son, my beautiful boy Isaac, to suicide, of not knowing how to release my grip on of the past, both the worshipping of it as well as the beating myself up for it, and letting go of the need to know what I could’ve done or what on earth I will do now. I write to heal.


2 thoughts on “Eighteen Months.”

  1. So touched by the poem. Wow. Really beautiful..thank you for your amazing lovely efforts to share such deep pondering and be an example on how to express gratitude for all of us.
    I loved seeing your posts and smiles along the way of your journey and all the fun whimsical touches you added with friends and clues.
    Deeply touched by all you put forth. 💗


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