How did I love thee, 2019? Let me count the ways.
I loved the month of January, and my brief visit to Savannah, Georgia, in all its mysteries.
I loved the month of February, when I climbed a mountain so steep I was sure I would fall backwards to my demise.
I loved the month of March, which had the most to give: the Museum of Illusions where I did not believe my eyes and laughed at tricks. A cousin I’d never met and finally did after twenty-one years. When the generosity of a sibling overwhelmed me and led to serendipitous moments. And my recovery from every sadness, abandonment, and trial that seemed insurmountable.
I loved May, when I worked a lot and wrote more.
I loved June, when I danced again and saw St. Louis. July, when I came home again. And August, when I faced fears and God came closer. September, when I moved toward my self, and October. October. October. Then November, when I saw a mockingbird, sang, and wore a dress for a change.
I loved December, when I saw people I love most but faced new fears. December, the mother of all months to me, the first path and the home stretch. I will always love December.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning sonnet (Sonnet 43):
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints.
I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.