My friends have noticed.
They say I laugh more now. They say I smile more. They wonder at the why of it. To some extent, so do I.
As we come into winter, and the death of all things, inexplicably, I'm flowering. Discount the words seen here over the past few days--or hear them, understand them, understand my heart is trying to understand all that holds it back, holds it wary, and chip away at what remains to reach out again, unafraid, hand held out and open.
It's a frightening process. It would be ever so much easier to remain where I am. Hurt and wounded, knowing hurt, licking wounds, recognizing I will not be whole again.
Such great risk, admitting that I might not be as flawed as I expect. Such quiet terror, considering I may have wounds, but now they are being tended, bound by loving hands, so they can slowly heal. That they may leave scars, but that each scar will be kissed, accepted, understood by those who love me.
That I don't have to fear anymore.
That I don't have to hide anymore.
That I don't have to...turn everything, laugh the pain off lightly, be the blithe dancer on the broken glass, my brittle smile never touching the shadows in my eyes.
Elbert Hubbard once said, "Pain is deeper than all thought; laughter is higher than all pain." I'll grant the first, because I understand it. I'm slowly learning to appreciate the second.
It's easier to turn away than turn towards, always. I'm fighting my own instincts. I don't know whether I'm more afraid of being accepted, or being alone.
And I am, most assuredly, no longer alone.
Today of all days, this uniquely American holiday, I do give thanks for all my blessings. All those who love me, and whom I love. I bless you for it. All those who are friends to me, and I to them. I thank you humbly, each and every one.
Now the harvest is in, and we feast on the bounty. Now we prepare for the cold season.
And I will be warm throughout. It's getting less frightening. Be patient with me, this is new territory.
*inhales, and holds out her hand*