the last few months have been a rollercoaster ride, a series of ups and downs, hair-raising turns at breakneck speeds. she gave me a few moment of quiet but i couldn’t fully trust them.
it started to settle. it always does. it’s a cliché, but time takes care of it all. we should trust that more.
the ride left me worn and a little disheveled, windblown hair and a few tears in my jeans.
just when I thought I had landed safely, she picked me up one last time and threw me around.
perhaps she thought it was fun?
or maybe she was testing me?
i found myself driving home toward something i knew would be beautiful. a celebration of the heart. i caught my reflection in the rearview mirror. my face told the tale of the day: one moment a sparkle in my eye and a flash of pearly whites; the next, floods on my cheeks akin to the rising banks of the mississipi. (ben howard makes a great soundtrack for emotional drives on the highway, just so you know.)
it isn’t quite over yet, this i know.
i’ve come to learn how she works. i’m a little more prepared for the next change in direction. it takes practice. i wasn’t planning on it, but i’ve been getting a fair bit of it.
stepping out of the car felt good.
once i trusted my feet, the ground gave me some steadiness.
i touched the earth, admired the tulips on my short walk to the front door.
the wind chimes welcomed me home with their sweet song.
i willed myself to shake it off. there was nothing I could do about it, not for a while in any case. i needed to put on a happy face, we had guests coming after all!
and so we celebrated. i marveled at how smoothly i transitioned from the dark to the light. little babies in cute dresses and glasses of bubbly certainly help.
Another transition still, the bottle now empty and the baby fast asleep next door. we packed our bags, ready for the early morning flight.
there is something magical about going to the airport, regardless of the nature of the trip.
“Playing games with the faces.
She said the man in the gabardine suite was a spy.
I said ‘be careful his bowtie is really a camera’.”
as we boarded our flight, i had already landed. i felt right at home, immersed in anonymity and the smiles of strangers. the sudoku puzzles are always more entertaining when you’re 10 km above ground, sipping on salty tomato juice, trying to touch the clouds.
and then the humidity wrapped its damp arms around me like a clammy hug as my curls retracted by a few inches. we wandered the streets, perfectly organized in that checkered-shirt kind of way. we walked hand in hand, we wore each other’s clothes and admired our freshly painted toes.
at other times i wandered the streets on my own. they asked me for direction, mistaking me for a local until they heard the missing southern drawl. i was as confused as they were, the only difference is that i welcomed it.
wrought-iron balconies and narrow streets led me to the dark room where i held a snake for the first time. She curled up in my hands, warm and silky smooth in her brand new skin.
she woke up the sorceress in me.
i wrote my name on a piece of paper, wrapped it around a quarter and dropped it in the old trunk of the cypress.
i knocked on the wood nine times. 1-2-3. 1-2-3. 1-2-3.
i saw myself standing over a swirling cauldron. i prayed to the gods of rain and thunder.
i walked out a little more alive.
i held my old secrets, and new ones too.
Sometimes the best thing you can do is get a little lost.
i know we are magic – all of us. we are the universe gift-wrapped and neatly packaged in bones and sinew.
we don’t need gris-gris bags or voodoo spells.
we can choose to let the heartache break us open.
we can choose to feel the ragged surface of the tree bark and take in the musty smell of the mud.
we simply need to remember to kneel down and kiss the earth, to look into the infinite expanse of a stranger’s eyes and trust that we still know how to love.
“there are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground,
there are a thousand ways to go home again.” – Rumi