Life, Mood, Stress

Just Breathe…

I send out this post with special thoughts for those of you who are worried, weary, grieving, hurt, or ill this holiday season. The holidays are an extra tough time to be dealing with life’s punches.

I’d heard the expression for years.


Big deal.  So what.  Platitude.  Simplistic.

I didn’t get it (and I also didn’t give it much thought).

And then one December, my father was sick.  Really sick.  On his fourth hospital.

Throw in unexpected company, the start of an MFA program, and quickly approaching Christmas with its trappings (or should I say traipsing, here or there in a hundred different directions on holiday errands).

I was opening the car door after finishing another errand.  If I could have sunk through the parking lot to the center of the earth and stayed there, I might have.

I remember holding onto the door handle for a second.   “Breathe,” a voice from within instructed.  “Stand still Barbara and breathe.”

I did.

And then I got it.


Sometimes, standing still and breathing is just  what you need to do.

Sometimes, at least in that moment, it’s all you can do.

But small miracles abound in those breaths.

Almost always, they fuel the courage to go on.

Photo:  On Bald Head Island off the coast of North Carolina, there are four one room cottages that sit by the harbor.  Named for the elements, they are Water, Fire, Earth, and Air.  I present you the sign that hangs on Air, in honor of the air we breathe.  With gratitude, air!

Winners of Unwrapping the Christmas Creche are Elle and Leslie!