I have lost the lid I used to keep on my grief. I cannot contain it. I cannot shut up about the state of my nation. I cannot shut up about the things I am learning and the ways I am being stretched to hold more and more grief. I am undone by it.
But I have also lost the lid to my joy. It spills out in the most unlikely places. In even the most devastating spaces I can almost always find light.
We are elbows deep in the best month of the year—the month that fills me with joy.
You are welcome to have a differing opinion, but I am pretty sure I am correct when I say February cannot be topped.
Here in the Pacific Northwest a snowy weekend will fold into a sunshiny one where cars roll down the street with the windows down and heat blasting.
Here we start to notice the sun stayed up past 4:30pm and that “the mountain is out.”
February means Black History Month. It means educating and re-educating a whitewashed history to include the black founding mothers and fathers. To learn about freedom fighters and preachers and writers and educators and inventors that American history books erased. (Also, every month is good for this work.)
February means Galentine’s Day and Valentine’s Day and my birthday. These are my three favorite things and they all happen RIGHT NOW.
My grief is still un-ending, but February reminds me that so is my joy.
This is never more clear than when I am in a text thread with a small tribe of my friends. That thread is dominated by grief and requests for prayer. Some of the text replies are prayers, some are offers to hold space, some just say, “sending you sparkle vibes.” Many are riddled with swear words.
These text threads remind me there is not a border in the space between holy and human. Between sacred and secular. Between grief and joy. We are all the things. And being all the things at once makes us more complete and more compassionate people.
Yes, it seems easier to let apathy take over.
Yes, it seems easier to give in to compassion fatigue.
But I am leaving the lid off my joy. And I am learning to let my joy and my sorrow coexist. This is the only way I can continue to fight for justice and truth and respect.
This space that is marred and beaten and also basks in sunshine—this is saving my faith and I thank God for Februaries.