Breaks in the Clouds

red ink…

Well, we are on our annual 19 hour sojourn back home after leaving our special place of rest, remembrance, retreat, and restoration in Martha’s Vineyard. When we were packing up our last few things to leave the island this morning, it was raining cats and dogs, like the island was crying our tears (mine came later!). This year no one in our family was really anxious to get back home. One of our last nights, we had dinner together and recounted the things we would miss about the island, and everyone of us had something different to share about freedom and new experiences – freedom to come and go as we please, to hang out with friends or to stay up extra late and to sleep in, freedom from the pressure of work and other commitments. We were especially grateful this year to be free from any medical emergencies. (Last year Drew had THREE seizures that ushered in a challenging year.). New adventures in MV this year included Mom and Shelby running a local 5k (yup, another one for me), family kayaking, Drew taking art classes and going to a Vineyard college fair (and asking the first question!), Max hanging ’till midnight and enjoying back door donuts with his crew, and Shelby finding a way into the mix.

As I’ve said before, the year since our last trip to the Vineyard has been more than a little stormy. As we came again to re-connect and download, it was more clear than ever that all of us (my friends and my family) were a little weather weary. The time that we all have (and make) on the island to take long walks, really listen, and share our stories is hard to replicate amidst the background noise of every day life (but we should really try harder!)

This year the major milestone was just making it there. Pink ink and lil B came to pick me and my littlest chicklet (who is taller than I am after this summer, by the way!) up from the OB ferry. The rain and our tears fell as we hugged to celebrate the victory – we’d made it to the Inkwell! So many times this year, we just didn’t know if it would happen. Most recently Pink ink’s unrelenting headaches threatened to abort our reunion. Although we have been in touch almost daily throughout this crazy year, our time together in MV as we complained about our rental houses, bought boogie boards and shared a cupcake or a glass of wine, enjoyed dinner with our families, or just sat on our beloved Inkwell and watched our kids – who have become family – was truly a special “break in the clouds” for everyone.

My tears came this morning as we drove through Massachusetts listening to my husband’s “church” – a gospel medley – in the car. I looked out of the car window at the clouds ahead, and just felt the weight of what lies ahead, letting the tears flow into my pillow as my husband reached over to touch my hand to see if I was ok. I was more than a little anxious about going back to “real life” and genuinely afraid of going back into the “clouds.”

On Pink Ink’s last day, I gave her a card that read “Life isn’t about waiting for the storms to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

As my family and I continue on journey towards home, the music plays on, my tears have dried, we passed through the clouds, and as I look ahead right now, I’m seeing beautiful sunny skies – a reminder of possibilities and of the potential great days in front of us starting with today. (Today is lil B’s birthday party! Can’t wait to hear about the celebration!) While traveling and listening, I’m resolved that more clouds will come, but I’m grateful that I’m not traveling alone, that I’ve polished up my dancing shoes on MV in preparation for the rainy days, and that I have faith that there will always be “breaks in the clouds.”

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