Sometimes, you simply have to return to the songs of an older season. Sometimes, you just need to remember that one night drenched stretch of highway, the stillness in the air, the notes and lyrics spilling out of speakers and merging with conversation, that cabin in the mountains, that feeling of fear and need rooted in your chest, the soundtrack that seasoned that one adventure.

A decade or so stronger, I look back now with sharper eyes. I see the pieces of that older chapter, the one right before the darkness came, the darkness that almost destroyed. I can now pick out the beautiful, the grace-filled, the hopeful, the relentless shards that dug in deep and sustained me. The bedroom windows open wide at night with the sound of rushing water drifting inside to calm, the wine and countless cups of tea, the music, the fires, the words bled out onto pages and pages, the hike in the rain, the picnic by the lake, the cigars on the porch at midnight wrapped in quilts to keep the cold at bay, the conversation, the friendship.

Those pieces, All my pieces in fact, have made me stronger, deeper, more… the good and the bad. They have sustained me and shaped me and become my most cherished scars. I am grateful for them all.

But today, I am grateful that my shuffling iTunes landed on this song. And for the corresponding flood of memories from that one adventure. It was the calm before the storm. It was necessary to this story. It was a gift.

I am alive today to remember.

That song, those memories are a reminder,  that nothing stays the same. That change is important. It is necessary for a lived life. And I needed that reminder today.


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