Waiheke, Aotearoa New Zealand

August 30, 2020

Sprout.

This has been my full real winter entirely stuck in New Zealand - and the Southern hemisphere more generally. The months flow backwards, my brain tries to match July and August with dark and cold. It's been trippy, unsettling, an extra layer to the upside-down we all feel in this crazy, awful year.

But then on Tuesday, walking down my driveway to get the mail, I spotted them. Daffodils. The first of the year.

I looked around. Looked closer. Shoots and stalks were sprouting up everywhere. There were buds and tiny leaves on the trees. Ferns putting out feelers. And I sat down on the driveway and I cried like a crazy person.

Spring was coming. I'd made it.

I've made no secret that I find the long, dark days difficult. Depression often stops by, and even in the best of times, there's just less me to go around. My difficulty managing winter is part of why I started traveling in the first place - after six years of Portland's nine months of rain a year, I'd had enough.

But here in 2020, I've been stuck in musical chairs like everyone else on this planet. In February, the music stopped, and we all sat down where we were. Me in Aotearoa New Zealand. Winter, once again, something I'd need to endure.

And to be sure - there are lots of dark, rainy days still ahead. As I write to you right now, it's pitching down, and I'm watching my water tank spill over, filled to the brim.

But for the first time in months, I know I can make it.

There's something to sprouts, buds, tiny leaves. To snowdrops and crocuses and daffodils that tell me like nothing else, this too will pass.

So this week, I wanted to pass that along to you.

This too, will pass. We will make it. I have it on the very good authority of some gorgeous little flowers, heads up, braving the wind and rain and sun.

Hang in there. <3

-Steven

p.s. The best thing I saw all week was a spot of brightness in the midst of a pretty tough week all across the world. It's the inimitable Yvonne Orji, teaching us Nigerian slang. :)

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