I recently looked up the definition for thaw. The word has been on my mind recently.
You see, I live in Maine now and I have time and the scenery to think about these things more easily. I love it here. This is my third time living in Maine, but first time living through a winter or waking with the sun rising on the sea – often frozen sea.
This winter has been a record one for snow. Oldtimers tell me it is one of the worst they’ve experienced – or best, depending on your outlook. I have grown to embrace the snow, the solitude and the seasons.
Yesterday, I was having a picnic on a floating barge in the harbor. The sun was hot – hot! – something I hadn’t felt on my face since November. The ducks were dancing and the birds were singing spring. It was lovely and picturesque.
It was there and then, while bobbing in the harbor and eating a donut, that my mind returned to the importance of thawing.
A few weeks before I was on that same barge moving side-to-side in order to break the frozen sea apart so I could hear the crackle of the saltwater. Spring felt forever away.
The thaw is all around me now, but it is also within me. I will not try to crystallize how I’ve been feeling about the project and what these past few months have been like as I’ve re-listened to all of the gracious, thoughtful men I had interviewed and my own audio diaries, but I will say: the seasons have been within me as well.
When I stared this project, I wanted to break some of the ice around my own heart and get into the dark places that I had avoided. I have. I am.
As I listen back to these heart-expanding interviews, I’m reminded of how tentative and nervous I was. I knew I needed to embark on this journey, but I had no idea what it would yield. As I rode more miles, met more men and made my way west, I could feel the shifts within me. They were tectonic at times and often threw me for emotional loops. They have all been for the best, but certainly not always easy.
As part of the thawing around me, the buds on the trees are making their presence known. The streams are making their way to rivers. The sap is flowing. The seeds are being gathered and plots prepared.
As part of the thawing within me, I’m editing all of the interviews with these courageous voices and starting to fine-tune my own. Some days are good, and some are exhausting. This is how all good things come to be, I’m reminding myself. This is what it takes. You gotta till the soil to get the goods.
Enough with the metaphors, but damn: I love them.
I wanted to give an update and and say thanks for all of your continued support. Many of you have reached out to check-in and see how I’m doing and asking about the project and how it and I am coming along.
I’ve edited eleven interviews and I am still hoping to do more. My plan is to launch a podcast for the project. I’m debating on the name; so, if you have suggestions, please send them!
Each episode will feature one of the men I’ve had the privilege to interview, their story and some of my reflections. I also plan to interweave stories from the road – both across the country and along my own interstate of grief and loss.
I will launch the first few episodes on Fathers Day. It will be a year after I launched the Kickstarter project that so many of you shared and generously supported.
Moving forward, I will work to write more updates. For now, I’m going to keep working on the project and taking these picnic breaks in the sun to listen to and appreciate what I’m calling, ‘the thaw of 2015.’
Happy thawing and springing,