The past month felt weighty— laden with troubling news, layered with grief and sorrow, fatigued by sweltering heat. My usual routines halted. My creativity waned. My sense of mindful awareness drifted into bouts of worry and distraction. My attention seemed stuck in a loop of all that wasn't working in the world and in my life. And though I understand that grief and sorrow take their own sweet time, I wondered if or when the hazy heaviness would lift.

Somewhere between a much needed weekend of coastal walks and an earlier-than-usual morning spent sipping coffee in my backyard nook, it began to shift. I noticed the sunflowers exploding along the west side of my house and the dramatic buzz of swarming bees feasting from bloom to bloom. I heard the whirl of hummingbirds swooping through the aspens and watched them dance to and from the trumpet flowers. Several times, one hovered above me in mid-flight— messengers reminding me to seek the sweetness of life. I spied a quail perched patiently on the fence, mindfully watching the little ones. Then a series of rhythmic chirps and calls of chi-ca-go and pit-pit, "it's time to go". I breathed in the bright patch of wildflowers and felt the warmth of summer break through my heavy heart. I sat in stillness with the morning, allowing her light to lift the doubt. Then I remembered how it feels to say yes to joy, how gratitude can swing things back towards center and how every new moment offers a choice in how I feel and respond. And I breathed this reminder in.

I wish I could say the haze has completely lifted but instead, I can say that I feel hopeful. The sorrow has simmered. The fatigue comes and goes. The heat is decreasing as we transition towards Fall. I am winding my way through new daily routines while feeling less aimless, more grounded, a bit lighter. In moments when the shadows of life come around, I am practicing patience with heavy doses of care. I'm unplugging more often, loosening my grip on fear. I'm tuning into my heart space and untangling my thoughts. I'm learning from the quail and the hummingbirds and the cats— nothing is certain, stillness is key, messengers come on the tiniest of wings.