The sounds of the morning.
As I sit here, computer on lap, coffee in hand, poochies gathered at my sides.
How loud all the small things are.. the clock ticking on the wall, thudding every second out in a rhythmic beat.
Every bird calling and singing and announcing the sun.
The sound of the street... A sound most people try to avoid, but for me, that sound only grows my heart with each racing car.
It reminds me of nights in my grandparents basement. Their house flush with the busy road. A sound that rocked me to sleep. A sound that I even loved then. Sometimes I'd get up quietly to peek out the window and watch the headlights flash through the trees. Sometimes I would just close my eyes and count the sound.

I realize why I love early mornings.
I love those tiny things making their existence heard. Is that not a metaphor of myself? Those details that are normally washed out with the height of the sun. Is that not a metaphor for the work that I do? Adding the tiny stones, the plates, the inspirational thoughts and words- making back just as beautiful as front. Taking what is usually hidden and giving it a life of its own.

The silver-lining things of this world. The small pieces. The teeny tiny parts that accent the whole, make up the whole, make the whole the whole. You can't draw it without them. No forest would sing without the bug-song, without the leaves catching water and handing it in a drip, drip, drop down to its piny floor. No world would last without the bumble of the honeybees. No flower, no tree, no human.

And when you see it that way, your world expands.
You float.
You see why the small pieces of your character matter.
You understand why your place is here.
You can witness that tiny silver string around even the darkest cloud.
And you survive.
You thrive.
You make it. 
You sew things back that many may leave to hang broken.

The other day I fought the Ikea crowd, only to suddenly feel so sick that I passed on my purchase. If you've ever seen an Ikea parking lot, you know that it's about the size of a small country. I found my car... I found my car with a flat tire.
You can imagine how much joy I was filled with.

As I bent down, knees kissing 120, 150, 100-and-who-knows-what-degree pavement, I thought, yeah, now this, this is a Sunday-Funday right here.
And then there, at my most frustrated point, I saw, in the tiny crack of pavement under my flattened tire, a wing. A perfectly preserved grasshopper wing. There, in this gigantic mess of parking lot, under that tire... my tire. And only a head-turn later, a dollar. Perfectly laid out.
Tiny things that to anyone else may not mean anything. Tiny things that to me said, Ashley, you're protected. Every thing is going to be fine. You are OK.

Silver linings.
Bits of hope.
A reminder that the world spins and that I am human and that sometimes, little shitty things happen. But having a bad day does not mean that you have a bad life. And that's the most important reminder of all.

It felt fitting for me to spin these gifts into my own version of a Saint Christopher keychain. A little gift of protection for myself. I'll post it here when it's finished.
In the meanwhile, I hope you see past the grey this week. Dip your sorrows in silver. And remember that this is a beautiful life and that you are a beautiful, capable, important detail to this ever spinning globe.