You Have Changed So Much


He said.

“You are so beautiful, look at her,” he said to the man sitting next to me.

Thank you.

I have grown up a lot.

My heart so tender today that I would rather not write tonight for fear that if it, my heart, were any more on m sleeve, it might burst.

Just the ache that fills me when I look at the ten pink Gerber daisies my boyfriend left on my scooter for me to discover when I got home tonight is enough to make me want to stop writing.

I know the only way through this is to grow through it.

That was not a typo.

I really have to grow more.

Just when I think I can stop stretching my arms toward the sun I find myself needing to reach even harder toward that warmth and light.

The sunlight of the spirit I need more than ever now.

I still feel so new at this thing called living.

I still find myself trying to find my voice.

Last night as I was heading to bed I played the Bach cello Sonatas again that I had been listening to, one in particular that reverberates within me when ever I hear it, Cello Suite in G Menuett 1 & 2, and I cried.

It just filled me with grief and joy and sorrow and gratitude and awe and I was astounded that I could feel so very much, that I could hold all those emotions at one time and feel them each and every one.

Painfully so.

Gratefully so.

I held him in my arms and kissed his hair and said, “shhh, I hear you, I hear you, I hear you, it’s ok.”

He sobbed like the two and a half tired toddler he was, overwhelmed with the sugar from a rice crispy treat and a trip to his older brother’s pre-school class for a family share day.

He was inconsolable with feelings.

He wasn’t able to express, without screaming in frustration what he wanted.

He wanted it all.

And he could not find the words to ask for everything he wanted.

I am forty years older than him and sometimes I feel like that too, the words get stifled in my chest and I cannot find the way to have you hear me, to express myself, that my heart is tender, that you have touched it, that I feel you, even when you retreat again and leave me here to stare at pink flowers on an aquamarine table, next to a bunny night-light from Paris, tears well up and then down.

I breathe.

I held him and calmly spoke to him and let him know he was heard and it was alright and he didn’t need to do anything but breathe.

“Take a big deep breath,” I told him and inhaled through my nose and exhaled slowly.

“Again.”

“Baby, try again, you can do it, I’m here, I’m here holding you, you are safe.” I said and held him and swayed next to the sound machine.

It took some time.

It always does when our hearts are so full and there is so much to say and no words to express all the feelings but to holler in a scream, NO!

NO!

He screamed.

The tantrum lasted about 20 minutes.

It felt longer and all at the same time timeless, effortless, the screaming, the heart wrenching holler of a frustrated child.

And when it was done, a snuggle, a story, a song, lullaby my baby, down to sleep.

A two and a half hour nap and it was like the world was a brand new place and yes!

Let’s go to the park and play fire engines and slides and hide and seek and tag and please, more shovels, and diggers, and sand, yes.

Feelings they pass and when I am overwhelmed, I remind myself, this too shall pass.

And.

To thine own self be true.

So I do what makes sense, I make a cup of tea, I arrange flowers in a Mason jar and smile that I have once again been given so much more than what I asked for and that, yes, I am allowed to ask at all.

I don’t have to be a quiet wallflower.

I can keep changing.

I am not the same woman.

I am this woman.

Alive, imbued with emotions, all allowed, intelligent, funny, sweet, beautiful, hopefully more on the inside than the outside–that’s where it counts, really, physical beauty fades, but heart beauty, that which is inside, that only grows deeper in beauty and fullness.

Rich.

That is what this life is, full of flavor and spice.

Salt and pepper, smoked paprika, grated nutmeg, golden turmeric, spicy ginger, sultry cinnamon, spiky mace, sweet Cicely, clove, anise in all its wild glory.

So much.

Tonight as I was riding home through the park, just past the end of the Pan Handle where it ends at Stanyan, I rode by a patch of the park that smelled so pungent I was bowled over with memory.

Wet, dark, damp, sweet, the smell of soft rotting nectarines and the wound of a night-blooming jasmine melded my heart to the here and now and the little girl I was so many moons back.

I did not perhaps have that same comfort and soothing that I was able to give the littlest boy I take care of, but I could connect the woman I am to the girl that I was and see how far I have come and see how tender I can be to that part of myself and know that no matter how open and vulnerable I feel, that I really won’t be hurt be letting others see exactly what there is to me.

All of it.

I am as see through as the pink of a bunny rabbit ears.

Have you seen that?

The translucent light, pearled and pink with blood and the white of a fur softly ringing the tender skin, that shines through a rabbit-ear.

That is me.

Tonight anyway.

Tomorrow?

Let’s not go there, shall we?

Just let me sink, soft, and unbound into the sound of cello rasping away into the evening as the stars shimmer over the woods, deep, wild, and omniscient in their tangled ramble toward the sea.

 

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