A friend and I walked Elk Lake in the late afternoon sunshine today. Among the moss- covered cedars and firs, the light shone onto the trail in scattered patterns. Small birds hopped ahead of us and called from the bushes. The lake was still, reflecting the light. In some places it was skimmed with a thin layer of ice. It was incredibly beautiful.
Walking that trail in the cold air, I felt energized and, at the same time, at peace, perfectly content. My friend and I walked fast and talked over a wide range of topics from work to families to my break up with Griff.
It would be so easy right now to be wallowing, to be cataloguing all that I’m losing with the end of my relationship. And I find myself doing so in odd moments, thinking of small things that I appreciated about Griff: his impeccable table manners, the fact that he didn’t watch TV, the way he dressed. Small things. But things I appreciated about him and worry that I won’t find again.
But wallowing will get me nowhere. When I find myself missing Griff, or remembering something specific that I’ll miss about him, I try to focus on the thought for a moment and then remind myself how fortunate I was to have him in my life for the time I did. I remind myself that Griff is not the only man in the world with good table manners. And I remember that for all the good, I wanted in my life something I couldn’t have with Griff. It feels so much better to feel thankful and grounded than to feel miserable.
In these early days after the break up, with all their potential for sadness, I’m finding Elk Lake moments as often as I can. I’m seeking out the beauty of a sunny winter afternoon, the connection with a friend, the sense of peace I find among the trees, and the solitude for writing. All of these fill me and make me feel whole again. They all help me heal.