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all the little gifts you've been seeking

Dearest, What have you been thinking about lately? Over the summer, I know the heat and slow pace of life put you in a pensive mood, trapping you inside your head. I see the swirling look in your eye, your restless yearning for good things to happen, fists beating against the inside of your irises. If you don't want to share your thoughts, that's okay. But at least tell me about your July. Tell me what the sun has seen in you from the sky, the everyday things I'm too far away to know, yet make up your whole life. These little things may seem insignificant now, but they're the little threads that weave together into what it means to be alive. As for me, I've been trying to figure out how to help people without saying “better times are coming.” Those types of words never worked well for me because it was hard to envision a better future when I was struggling. It's just not believable for the people who need hope the most. When you're deep in the darkness, you believe bad times can go on for a long time. And you're right. Darkness has staying power. It gets in the cracks and it feels like you can never ever get rid of it. But life happens no matter what, in a good way too. Even in the black void of space, bright stars shine like nothing else. I talked about the little gifts along the way in my last letter. Have you looked for them this month? Seeking is so important. It might even be more important than finding--when you're in the dark. A bright spirit has been calling me Seeker lately, and now more than ever do I know the importance of looking for veins of gold in the dirt, pools of water in the desert. This is how you survive. You stay alive to look for the good and beautiful things. The finding comes later, it always does. But it's the process of seeking where life happens. If you've been lucky enough to find gifts over the past month, would you tell me about them today? Even if they're so small you feel silly talking about them. Eventually, there will be big gifts. A feast on a table so big it disappears over the horizon. A blade of sun cutting through clouds you swore were made of concrete. A kiss from a glistening angel in your bed. Promise me you'll tell me all about it. When that time comes, you will remember the little gifts that helped you survive like manna, you will feel the big gifts more deeply, and you will notice more and more gifts all the time. That's what's been happening to me this year. If you remember my earliest letters, you know I've come a long way. But it didn't happen all at once. It's been a long time of seeking, looking for reasons to be happy with life. Yes, I've always believed life is worth living, but sometimes the reasons to be happy are buried underground.This summer has been a big gift. I've traversed my strange home state of Florida with a Light, exploring lagoons and elderly cities bustling with ghosts, tasting the sweetness of the sun between lips, and sleeping in a moonlit room that feels like a cloud before waking up next to more Light. You see, some people are made of light. They are bright spirits condensating from moonbeams like beads of water on a cold glass of lemonade in summer. When you find someone like that, be kind to them. Clear the ground and prepare the soil. Feed them and do everything you can to help them bloom. These luminous beings will feed you in return, and fill you with something entirely new. I'm not talking about merely nice people or kind people or your crush who makes you feel good. I'm talking about people who are truly made of light, who have broad, solar hearts that can sustain life in all its forms. These are the people you take with you into the dark, and they scatter sparkling gifts behind them the way galaxies spill into the universe. And it isn't until you've learned to look for the smallest of gifts that you can truly appreciate the people made of light. It isn't until then that you can love them for who they are and not what they give you, holding them up higher instead of keeping their shine for yourself. This is important to understand. Because one day, others will realize that you, too, are made of light, like I've known all along. And you will have to make sure to protect that light. Most people will try to dim you or even snuff you out. Some will make you think they want to protect you, but really they want to keep you away from the world so only they can experience the joy you have to offer. You are meant for more than that. You have the ability to light up the world in ways you never dreamed. It may not feel like it right now, but as long as you keep taking your baby steps through the desert, seeking the little gifts, you will begin to understand your power to survive--and your power to help others survive too. That's exactly what writing to you has taught me. I started writing to you in January because I was so sad and discouraged, and I thought talking to you would make me feel better. It definitely has made me feel so much better. But even more than that, writing to you has let me help you and others in their own fights for survival. And for that, I am so grateful. Love, bread, and antivenom, Lex