It's four days until my due date and I'm sitting in our 86-degree house, writing as a fan blows across my face. I know we'll have to turn the air on when the baby comes home, but I always love that before-the-AC time of year. When the outside hits 91 and the inside follows closely behind. When it's almost unreasonable to sit in the heat, but the evenings give just enough reprieve to get by.
Chris bought me a Peace Lily for Valentine's Day this year. I potted it in February, never thinking it would still be alive in May. I thought it would be more like the tulips I buy at Trader Joe's, blooming in March and bidding us farewell in April. But here we are, 12 weeks later, and the lily dances in the breeze of the fan, its curly green leaves unrelenting.
It's hard to believe it has only been 12 weeks since Valentine's Day, when that season of life feels so long ago. This winter was hard for us. Chris traveled constantly and I felt lonely here, attempting to make our new house feel like home without him. It was an unusually cold winter for Virginia, as it was most places, I hear.
As spring finally arrived, things began to thaw out in our personal lives, too. We started making a few friends. We found a church that could be a fit. Blessedly, we stopped having to use GPS to get everywhere. We found rhythms - coffee shops we love, a routine in the gym, little pockets and corners of the city that began to feel familiar.
When I first heard Laura Ingalls Wilde's quote, "home is the nicest word there is," a little part of my soul felt understood. Home has always been my favorite place in the world, but moving to a new city has helped me understand what home really means. To me, a big part of somewhere feeling like home is for it to be familiar and safe, and for me to be known there. Essentially, I need to know it and I need for it to know me.
We're still making this city feel like home for us, but as I sat in our house staring at our lily, I realized we're getting there. It takes time for something new to feel familiar. But just 12 weeks ago, when things felt raw and hard and lonely, I never would have believed how much life could change in just 84 days.
I don't know what you're struggling with today. I don't know what kind of thick of it you're in. But know that things do get better. They get easier. Take it one step at a time. Count the fruit that you can see today, but keep pressing on toward tomorrow. These hard days - this winter you're in - won't last forever, my friend.