I’m here.

Sometimes it feels otherwise, like those nights when I’m too tired to think, to write, to move. But at this moment — listening to my laundry tumble about in the dryer, picking out the faint clackety-clack of a train’s song being carried through the night air and trying to ignore my hunger pangs — I am definitely here.

Earlier today I realized how long it’s been since we’ve had a somewhat sizable earthquake in SoCal. I’m not necessarily wishing for one, it’s just a fact.

An earthquake is something, not surprisingly, that would make me wish I wasn’t here — not in California. Missing someone is something that makes me wish I wasn’t here, too. Wanting a break from it all — however we define it all — also inspires a bit of daydreamy wanderlust.

But I’m here.

I am very much here.

You know those times when you feel like you’re at a general loss and the idea of nobody being around highlights the desperation that can sometimes fill this life? Your compass needle might be having a hard time finding its true north, and you can swear you’re floating — simply going through the motions. “I’m here” is one of the best things we can hear in those circumstances. Even though our tendency may be to cocoon ourselves and ride things out solo, an instance of “I’m here” — even if from afar — can go a long way.

It’s grounding. Comforting. Understanding.

It’s human.

I’m at a slight loss tonight with no real knowledge of what, or why. It’s a lovely evening — the chill we’ve had over the last week or so has briefly passed; the Santa Ana winds are stirring dry leaves barely hanging onto their branches. It’s a peaceful night. It’s a still night, and that may be what’s getting to me. I’m here, period. Just me.

Being here speaks to being present, but also being engaged. It speaks volumes to someone riding out a storm, and it reminds us also that we’re mere mortals who need a rest — and someone to lean on every now and again.

Here’s to being here — for ourselves, for going easy on our spirit, and to being there for someone who needs to catch a break — or just their breath. Tonight I find myself thankful for those who have always popped their heads in at just the right time.

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