Thursday, January 9, 2014
I got to have coffee this morning with someone I haven't seen in years and years. The last time we met she was visiting Portland, and now she's moved here. We aren't close friends really, and on the surface, have next to nothing in common, yet when we talk we never run out of things to say, and have a shared love of books, writing, and several friends.
"You're radiant," she said, almost right off the bat. "What do you attribute that to?" she asked.
"I'm happy," I said. "2013 was a good year for us."
And it was.
But it's more than that. I was thinking how many things had changed in my life since the last time we shared time with each other. They say you replace most of your cells every seven years. You regenerate. It's been my experience that it takes about the same amount of time to regenerate as a person emotionally, spiritually, behaviorally, psychologically.
To regenerate means to grow new or replace that which is damaged. That's what the last seven years of my life have been about, both in a very concerted effort way, and simply by the grace that comes from the passage of time.
Driving home after coffee I thought of her choice of the word, "radiant." I immediately thought of Charlotte's Web, and how Charlotte spun the word into her web to help save Wilbur's life. Wilbur got all the credit for being radiant, but Charlotte did all the work. Nobody comes through a dark period on their own, we all need a Charlotte or two (or in my case, many more than that), ones that help us spin our story in a different direction from the one its going in. We all need someone to champion us, to believe in us, to sacrifice for us, to endure us when we're at our most unbearable.
And then we need those that bear witness to our progress and affirm it in us, so that we can go out and be a Charlotte for someone else.