1. Like Rip Van Winkle I awoke in February-ish after a long (not) sleep — which sleep is 2019 in review, which was the year I released (not by choice) more than half the blood in my body. Doozy of a year that 2019, but I’m here to review 2020. And it was in 2020 (after aforementioned almost died in 2019 when I couldn’t walk from my bed to my sofa down the hall without the wall’s assistance and a four-hour nap on arrival) I laced up my runners again. I exhaustingly ran one mile, took a nap, and two days later ran it again. I must have run that beautiful mile with a nap fifteen times! Then I woke up and ran three miles on a Monday in June. My naps got shorter the farther I ran (but I’m not sure the correlating factor wasn’t the homegrown hugs and fresh garden produce I was consuming on the daily). And suddenly it was September and I was bent over weeping while full-out living at the base of a mountain on which I had just run FIVE miles. In October I decided to run 13.1 miles. I didn’t run them, but I decided to. It was a good year for empowering and powerful decisions. Socks were an unexpected major theme of 2020 and consumed not a little of my online content and crowd-sourcing solutions for my blistered toes.
2. Another decision — profound and powerful in its creation moment — in March, which I’ve always known comes in like a lion, delivered details to me about my parents’ (then) current situation, which details (dad’s cancer diagnosis was our Christmas gift in that 2019 year I’m still not reviewing and his journey with it was already very much underway, mom full-time giving and giving and giving and getting I could see not enough in return) initiated a divine download and I decided (or was it already decided as things divine often are?) I was moving back home, back east, back in with my parents, back into the home and the hearts (my own at the fore) that have received, held, and helped to heal me more times than one Arminda in one lifetime might reasonably expect. And as my Self, for the first time in all those times, I came home, covering 2,458 miles to get here, wearing no socks at all.
3. Weeding, seeding, growing, (re)planting, watering, weeding (always with the weeding), cultivating, mulching, harvesting, cutting back, then the dying. This, the life cycle of our garden, the garden about which I cannot write right now without weeping, could be the simple summary of my 2020. For my dad, the master gardener, I donned gloves fitted for my small hands, and went to work. I cleared brush, I pulled weeds, I laid a brick pathway, I moved dirt, I dug holes, I watered the entire greenhouse, I hedged potato mounds, I created new beds for planting, I built a retention wall, I hauled yard waste, I organized by color, size, and shape, I took instruction, I wore out my first pair of gloves, I spread mulch, I measured rows, I planted sweet peas, beans, chard, tomatoes, peppers, squash green and yellow, cucumbers, flowers, flowers, flowers, flowers, and five more pepper plants we definitely did not need but he needed them planted. I placed the first green bean in his unresponsive fingers, on the underside of the surgical tape securing a needle whose purpose was to deliver nutrients that bean (could but) would never give to him but so desperately wanted. I took a picture of that bean in my dad’s hand. I still have that picture.
4. Being alive and sad and happy and running farther than I have ever run, while wearing socks when I decided to wear socks. I got all the way up to ten miles in one consecutive run. I did those ten in December 2020. I’ve never felt so alive and fully wholly conscious of my aliveness, of what my body did in its own behalf — how it regrew itself from the inside out — just so it could support my decision to be alive and sad and happy and running as far as I want — all at the same time. Good times, 2020. Good times.