These 9 months have been nothing short of a blessing. Full of beginnings with repetitive introductions and buried expectations. Conversations that uncovered and brought thoughts to light. Unknowns that made us hesitant and schedules that exhausted us. A church that turned into a home and teachers that asked all the right questions.  New people that became dear confidants and strangers that created space.

I think the best things I learned this year were in the in-betweens. Our dear friend Alex once called these the “unrequired moments”. These were the unscheduled hours where we chose each other. They were the foundational moments where we leaned in and laughed a lot. They were the unscripted talks, the random music videos and the sharing and holding of each others lives. They were the moments where I chose to invite myself onto Laura’s porch whether she was there or not, walk into the Crutchfields house 4 hours too early for round table, add Amy into my speed dial contact list, and make every Fellows host-home my newfound home as well. The in-betweens have been full of unrequired showing up and cheering each other onward.  Now all the sudden the gaps have been filled in and we blinked and it’s ending.

The guru of all wisdom aka John O’Donohue said, “To bless someone is to offer a beautiful gift. When we love someone, we turn toward them with our souls. And the soul itself is the source of blessing. A blessing is a form of grace; it is invisible. Grace is the permanent climate of divine kindness. There are no limits to it; it has no compartments, corners, or breakage in its flow.”

Three cheers to the multitude of humans who turned their souls toward my own this year. Three cheers to the grace given and received. Three cheers to a really big God that is faithful and good even when we aren’t quite sure what’s next.

Here’s to the hellos, the see you soon’s and the goodbyes that make up our world.

“...We were born saying goodbye

to what we love,

we were born

in a beautiful reluctance,

not quite ready

to breathe in this new world,

we are here and we are not,

we are present while still not

wanting to admit we have arrived.

Not quite arrived in our minds

yet always arriving in the body,

always growing older

while trying to grow younger,

always in the act

of catching up,

of saying hello

or saying goodbye

finding strangely,

in each new and imagined future

the still-lived memory

of a previous,

precious life.

-“Cleave” by David Whyte

10/4, over and out, peace and blessings!!!

Love, Em