This time in my life marks the passage of an anniversary - the anniversary of my dog's passing and the season when my legal ties with my ex were fully and completely severed.
Two years ago, it was.
It has been a whirlwind, ever since, scrambling to make ends meet, to alter circumstances that needed to be altered, to keep up with savage deadlines, to push myself to find my passion again.
The first year was the worst. I remember the pain of it so clearly. I thought my efforts would prove fruitless. I was so scared and lonely and everything seemed so far out of my reach. A home of my own. A book deal. A new dog. Another love. A child. I only kept pushing and walking and trying because I didn't see any other option than just giving up - which I wasn't willing to do.
I didn't notice that things had started changing... until I noticed. I started having memories of things that happened a year ago, and how sorrowful I had been. And I realized I didn't feel that way anymore.
I started to press forward with more enthusiasm and I realized I had some seriously cool dreams I wanted to pursue.
And that list of things that seemed impossible... The one thing that seemed the most impossible, the one thing I thought I would never achieve - buying a home - I have.
I'm signing the papers next week.
It's impossible, yet it's happening.
Last week was the official anniversary of my dog's death, and the symbolic ending of the home I had built with my ex. And you know what? I didn't remember the significance of the day until four days later. I didn't remember to think of my dog, or cry, or put out flowers for him. I was too busy remembering him in life and thinking about all the good times we had together.
I didn't have to mark the sadness or the loss.
There is a scene in the sequel of The Poison Box in which a character is having a difficult time dealing with the loss of a loved one. Mary observes this person and observes a smell on him that makes her think of a fresh grave.
I think there was a long time that the dirt from the grave of my old life lingered on me. Stale and musty and hopeless.
But it's gone now. The dirt I smell now is rich, damp, and fecund. Ready to grow all new things.
It is much like the place where I found a coyote who had died, just over a year ago. Last spring, the grass grew around the place where his body had been, as if it was protected by grief. But this spring, it is lush and overflowing with thick, green grass.
Eventually, the grave gives life again.