There is peace in the dark. There is strength in the unknown. You are here. Feet on the ground. The forest will hold you tonight.
Inside our apartment, my children share a large bedroom which looks out over a manicured lawn, a still-busy road and the parking lot. During quarantine, they have been able to track evidence of the world's continued motion from the safety of their room. It's peaceful how headlights and street lamps blur through droplets of rain on the windowpane sometimes at night.
Back in November 2019, when the coming COVID crisis was in its infancy and hadn't yet impacted the entire world, I manned a booth at a community festival. Across the makeshift aisle from me, a local artist named Jeremy Smith was carving a turkey as onlookers watched in wonder. They weren't hungry, and the turkey wouldn't have provided much sustenance if they were. That's because it was crafted from a pumpkin.
I'm familiar with the way a single life moves in cycles. I've watched mine start and stop multiple times. Sometimes, it's my health. Sometimes, it's my relationships. The year before and after giving birth contains its own series of beginnings and endings.
I traveled to Denver, Colorado, three months prior to asking for my divorce.
I was officially attending a networking event for writers. However, I spent most of the trip wandering around the city, performing some type of walking meditation. With assistance from THC-infused chocolate, I allowed my mind to relax and my perspectives to shift.
Yesterday evening three swift knocks sounded at the door of my apartment.
I opened it expecting the faces of my downstairs neighbors —