our second spring in the burn scar feels oddly similar to the first. it smells less of ash and more of cut grass, but the open spaces where a forest once stood have again been taken over by weeds and flowers of every color. without even the bones of a house to call our own we are somehow more patient than before. with less resistance there seems to be more room for joy. more than enough. free hours are spent sweating in the expanded garden. more beds for new crops. old leather gloves patting a dusty dog’s back. a long table at which to share meals with family and friends. where we’ll linger until well after dark when the air regularly forgets to cool itself before morning. i still have less words than before, but i’m making time to read others’. in actual books. and more often feeling the weight of my camera in sun kissed hands. while the weather eases us into the long, hot days coming, such small mercies seem to somehow ease the ache of lingering loss this time of year inevitably carries with it. and i’m forever finding balm for my broken bits in fields of wildflowers.