At the moment, I'm sitting in a room that I don't spend nearly enough time in: the bedroom. I've picked up the random scattering of clothes, fluffed the covers and made the bed, turned on lamps, and have a too-weak cup of coffee sitting on the shelf next to me. The blinds are cracked open just enough so that I can see the black silhouettes of trees and not-yet-leafed-out vines that drip over the edges of the windows. The sky has turned dusky lavender and orange. My old cat has traveled all the way up the stairs just so that he can hang out next to me. In his old age he acts more like a dog than a cat--following me everywhere, trailing behind me from one room to the next--that is true love.
I spent the day working outside. Yesterday, too. And the day before that (ok, you get the point). Not only have I been working outside, but I've been working hard. I've been hauling cast iron pots, potting soil, and stone Buddhas all day long. I rake and set up water fountains and break down boxes and move ceramic pots that weigh more than me. I carry an oversized watering can with me everywhere. It is the sort of work that makes me feel worn out at the end of the day--but in a good way. My skin feels tight from the sun and I have an unfamiliar reserve of energy from all the exercise I've been getting.
I've been more efficient lately, and resting better, too. Sometimes those old panicky feelings sneak back in, but the days I work the hardest, the smaller they become. I feel strength returning in a way that I have not felt in a very long time. I feel it in my arms, my legs, my lungs--but best of all, I feel it in my heart.