I don’t know when I broke. It was the move that broke me, most definitely. It was both fast and furious as well as prolonged. (And not finished, we are still living out of suitcases as I write this. However we’ve settled into a routine of sorts that’ll hold us steady until next month when we move into our new home.) The frenetic worst is over, of that I’m sure. Or at least I hope because one can never be sure of anything.

All I know for sure is that I did break. It wasn’t under the unyielding pressure of the actual move but something after. Perhaps it was the stress that wouldn’t wane, or the additional surprises and costs and delays. Whatever the cause, and whenever I finally broke, I spent a good deal of time floating, untethered and lost. I had only a few dissociative moments, and outwardly I appeared to be handling everything as normal. 

For everything I loved about Texas, I always felt disconnected from nature. We chose a small home with several mature trees in a neighborhood similarly designed. We visited the nearby parks and nature preserves as often as time and weather would permit. I know we would have to drive for hours to escape the metroplex and find the grasslands. But what then? The prairies are vast and I had never found my place there.

Now we are in Michigan, feeling the last breaths of summer as autumn yawns and starts to emerge. I inhale photosynthesis as I settle into the rhythms around me. Slowly I can feel Mother Nature healing me from my pain this summer: the deaths, the departures, the upheaval, the insurance claims, the mountains of paperwork that threaten to drown me, the unrelenting bureaucracy that threatens to strangle me with red tape, the oppressive extroversion required for all of these tasks. 

We spend a lot more time outdoors now, because the summer doesn’t stifle. Little by little Mother Nature pieces my broken, weary heart back together.

I know I’m healing because this morning I observed the sun peeking through the trees, gently nudging the mist off the canal to reveal the glassy calm water below.

And I realized that’s what’s happening to me as well.

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