Change comes, whether we want it or not. This year has proven that. Health scares do not ask whether it is convenient. Medical bills pile up, unopened, on the kitchen counter. I try to remind myself that sometimes the unexpected can yield glorious results. I dip my toe into the river of change and wonder “What if…” I live in stories, both the story of my life and the stories that I read to escape my life for a little while.
Tired, lonely, frustrated, I have confided in a fellow book-obsessed friend that I felt very “Harry Book Five.” Harry Potter–alone over the summer, with only vague messages from his friends while he endured the hell that was Number Four Privet Drive, feeling excluded and forgotten—perfectly captures the days when I scramble get by, so hurried by life that I go days before I realize that I never even spoke with anyone at all but have been stuck in my head with only my problems for company.
Other days, I feel very Outlander Claire…out of my element, trying to make things work out, chasing after some seemingly impossible goal. Occasionally, I find a kind word or a friendly face—my Mrs. Fitz. If I am lucky, she might bring me a drink and tell me to get some rest in her firm, not fussy, way. And, like Claire, for once I might just listen.
On the days of desperation, I feel a bit like MOBY Claire of the Sunken Ship. Alone. Going through the motions. Reminding myself that I have to endure. Waiting for the dawn just for the relief of having escaped another long night. I am not proud of those nights. But truth and courage don’t always come as a matched pair. Sometimes they are patch-worked together, and the seams that hold them are the scars that Life leaves us with.
Sometimes, I find a wee bit of Jamie lurking in my soul. More nights than I care to count I have watched my husband sleep and counted his breaths. I have offered up countless days of my own life to be added to his days, tried to bargain with God, and promised more than I have to give for more time. Please God, give me more time with mo cridhe. Because when you find the Blood of your Blood, Soul of your Soul, the last thing you want is for them to slip back through the stones.
On my best—my happiest days–I am more Claire at Fraser Ridge. I am at home, at peace, and surrounded by those I love. I have my garden and my wee herbs. I tend my children and my chickens and, as the sun slips behind the black shadowed branches of the maple and ash, I feel my Jamie slip up behind me and pull me against him.
I can feel Change coming.