February 23rd, 2021
Despite everything, there is something magical about that first inhale of near-spring air after a seemingly infinite span of bitter cold.
I’m not a person who believes that suffering makes a human better. I think that I will always struggle to varying degrees from the pain that I’ve been through and the pain that I’ve inflicted; I feel like a lot of people who have been through any kind of trauma can attest to that. What doesn’t kill you could have, and it’s hard to forget that.
We’ve been through a deep freeze as of late. Only over the past day or two have we been able to remember a temperature that isn’t actively trying to kill us.
When I took Marvel out today, she gulped the air through her big, wet nose like she had never smelled sweet oxygen before. We smiled together, and as much as I don’t want to admit it, there is absolutely something special about being able to breathe fresh air after surviving a winter.
More than just a season, the last year has felt like that isolated cold. Staring out the window, counting uncertainties.
Learning to breathe again — cautiously, optimistically — is the lesson that I needed today. And my dog, aware that I am helpless without her, is the teacher who shows me how.