(This should've been posted Saturday.)

Of all the thoughtful things a man can do, hanging towels over a window with clothes-pins is pinnacle. When I woke up with a migraine yesterday morning, I must have demanded zero light, although I don’t remember much. Later, I found only slivers of light coming in our window due to my husband’s ingenious creation.

Migraines have been both my nemesis and a blessing for almost my whole life, and I’ve gotten used to lying in the dark praying for relief, and contorting to try to stop the pounding.

I write this only to say how thankful I am for today. Because, today, my headache is going away. Today I can look at words again, today I could wash the floor, unload the dishwasher, and vacuum. (Top secret admission: I’m a vacuuming addict; I love the easy acquisition of order.)

I find it wonderful how coming out of pain provides more joy than never having the pain. There must be some C. S. Lewis in there, but after every migraine it happens: that relief and happiness in the ordinary. Pain transforms the boring to completely charming. The outside air, although frigid, felt like a grand surprise. Everything felt so good: warm shower, fresh eggs, singing birds.

I thought of my favorite writer, who noticed, suffered, and yet found joy (‘Here’, Jane Kenyon):

I feel my life start up again,
like a cutting when it grows
the first pale and tentative
root hair in a glass of water.

As I was too shaky to go out, I was domestic all day.  No canned pumpkin in Scotland? No prob. I managed to salvage the first pumpkin I bought at the farmer’s market by hacking it, scooping out stringy seeds (icko!), roasting, blending, measuring, and freezing it . . . all for three and a half cups of pumpkin puree and a defining sense of pioneering.

My great adventure into the wide outdoors for the day was picking apples: Round Three. Loads and loads and astonishing loads of apples. I brought in more than 60, and didn’t even make a visible difference—this from three scrawny trees. I never knew apple trees had such abundance. And that is my word of the day: abundance.

I hate being in pain; I’m scared of being helpless. The past two days have been painful and exhausting, and often felt useless and wasteful. But faithfulness is new every morning, whether I feel it or not. And I have life, in abundance.


P.s. You know how the British call vacuums, 'hoovers'? Meet Henry.