I’m not a fairweather artist anymore, nosirree, I thought to myself as I knit in my winter coat. I watched a crow land on the fire hydrant and then fly away. Red and blue recycle bins were stacked haphazardly on the grass. The rumble of passenger jet planes rising into the clouds above Bellingham Bay. The leaf blowers. Two young male joggers came up the hill, their neon shoe laces flashing. “That wasn’t as hard as I expected,” one said to the other.
D. and C. drove back from their stationary bicycle class at the Y. I once asked her why she doesn’t bike, and she said she is too afraid of having an accident. I’m sure she’s not the only one.
Riding my bike home, I remembered the principle of alternatio as articulated by Bernard of Clairvaux, a medieval monk. Alternatio is the idea that just as the earth alternates between night and day, summer and winter, so too our psyches need periods of struggle as well as joy…
It’s supposed to be this hard…It’s supposed to be this hard…It’s supposed to be this hard. And when I get to the top of this hill, I hope I will say, “That wasn’t as hard as I expected.”