From an early age, children learn that water freezes at 32 degrees. It becomes ice. Most of us use ice daily - in our drinks, in our freezers and we give very little thought to what ice means. This Wednesday, a coating of ice made its way to the eastern side of Pennsylvania and created a whole slew of problems. Many people lost power. Many people still don't have it back. People found themselves in the couches of friends, in shelters in schools and churches and thankful for that which they do have.
Ice is incredibly powerful and it can break things wide open. I feel like in many ways, this week I have been broken wide open in some really profound ways.
I have been really pondering my life this week. As I have mentioned previously, I adopted 2 kittens last spring. Leo and Toby. They are litter mates. Black and white tuxedo kitties who totally make me smile. They sleep together in a pile of kitten. They chase each other all over the house. They fight. They groom each other and what one does, it is almost certain the other one isn't far behind. That said, they are extremely different in personality. Leo is very sure of himself. He knows what he wants and has no trouble asking for it. If he wants you to scratch his face, he will grab your hand with his paw and pull you to his face. He pushes his nose against your face until you kiss his face. He will walk over your head in the middle of the night if he wants you to wake up. Leo is a cat who knows what he wants and he knows how to get it. He loves to be held and cuddled and will tolerate a whole lot of touch without very much complaint.
Toby, on the other hand, is very cautious. He hates being picked up. If you grab him and put him on your lap, he will run away as quickly as he can get out of your arms. And he'll do whatever it takes to get out. He will, however, come sit next to you on the couch or in bed. He will sit on your lap when he is ready and he will stay there for hours. Like his brother, he will grab your hand if he wants scratches but he will only accept those scratches if he wants them.
Both of these cats know just what they want. They know how to get it and they do just that. Lord, I love them.
And I am in awe of them.
Over the last few weeks, I have watched a friendship come to an end. As difficult as that process has been, I know that the cracks, like those in ice, can not be repaired. It's interesting to me that in the process of this change, I have been able to reclaim my own worth in a way I didn't think possible for a long time. I am very good at being a friend. And I am worth equally quality friends. Realizing that has been somewhat like a smack in the face. It seems silly and small but for me, it is huge.
I spent last weekend at a retreat with women from my church. When asked what I wanted to take home with me my answer was "ability to be as kind to myself as everyone in that room is to me." I am sitting with and listening very hard to what I want and working on ways to get it. It is very curious to me how in times of pain and sorrow, hope, promise and strength can arise.