Yesterday morning I woke up and everything was out of place. My journal was open face under my bed, my running shoes in a bag from two weeks ago I had forgot to empty, and my yoga mat had fallen over in the corner and was collecting dust like a high school trophy. There are some mornings I swear that my limbs are tipped over freight trucks. There are mornings where my mouth can tear the whole world down before I have put a single toe out of the front door.
For the past month, I have been watching the steady marching on of spring. I first noticed it in the green buds that appeared on the trees like paint specks. Occasionally, the neighbors and I catch each other checking their progress. We are determining if it is really spring or just a heat wave in the middle of winter. In New England, the weather teaches you to distrust the first sign of warmth.
I walk to work on a road lined with trees. This morning, I found a man still as stone. His hands gathering tree limbs and blossoms like gold. He was burying his nose in their belly buttons. His eyes shut tight with wonder and his mouth hanging lopsided and loose like a hammock. In this moment – there were no out of place sentimental objects, no missed calls from family, no bills left unpaid because I cannot pay them – there was just this man, swallowing spring.
Flashback to a few weeks ago. I am asleep on my belly at 10 pm because I don’t believe in staying up ’till midnight. There is a breeze coming through the open window and I am dreaming of an ocean filled with everyone I love. Each wave brings someone new. My friend Erin floats up and I cannot tell where her tears begin and the ocean starts.
There is no dream. There is no ocean. I only know how to explain heartbreak through metaphor. I am standing barefoot on the sidewalk and she is emptying the ocean into my chest. Heartbreak feels like the weight of a whole ocean pressing onto your face. A few weeks ago, the dog our house loves passed away unexpectedly and I am still finding the words to describe this story. I lifted her body into the car, stood barefoot by her side as we said our last goodbyes. Eva was our best friend (most days), the biggest pain the butt (some days), and continues to teach us lessons even though she is gone. Her memory sits inside our hearts like a pearl.
Tonight I came home after a long day and fished my journal out from under my bed, dusted off my running shoes for when my injury gets better, and rolled out my yoga mat.
I am barefoot. I am opening my windows and burning incense. I am touching my forehead to the floor in humility for all this life has given me and for what it continues to teach me along the way. I am grieving with my body. I am learning to breath through pain. I am gathering the blossoms outside my window and pulling them into my lungs. Tonight, I am dedicating my practice to Eva – the one who taught us all how to love one another until our bodies give out.