I am healing.
I tell myself this. I tell myself this again and again. These three words rattle, bouncing like marbles on cold tile in the half-lit hallways of my once cloudless mind. They scurry, they scatter, they disappear without reason for hours and for days, but I am healing.
When I hike, immersed in the freely given ministrations of the wild, my steps are less often angry. Exhaling in water, there are fewer frothing curses for fellow swimmers to hear. When I stand, lost in the moment in my kitchen familiar, I am less likely to weep. I am healing.
I stop – amazed – canopied by blue, inviting the vast, rolling splendor of the plains to inhabit my soul. Come, invade this wounded heart with your shimmering, with your passionate life that asks nothing in return. Let your flowers, your valleys, your winter-silver bark, your birds of the air and beasts of the field bring their life to mine. Come.
But I weep and I nearly weep: a grocery store aisle, no warning at all, a long country road, the worn carpet stairs to another bare room. A neighbor’s back fence, a mountainside cloud, a bench on a cliff top, slow walks on sand. All of the spaces I have known since that day – they have tasted my tears – many or few – but I am healing.
Dogs approach, leaping, dancing, eager to share their unbounded joy. I am alive! Play! Children laugh, unknowing healers soothing the savage beast. Tangled braids of glistening sun thrust hope through the lingering cold of the season. Rain barrels fill with a slow Spring melt, whispering faith. In the way that an oak tree slowly fills the sky, I am healing.
Fits. Spurts. Moments amazing when I suddenly know that I have felt peace of a sort for enough time to notice. Moments so dark that I reach, I claw, I scrabble on tile, grasping for the words to press them hard against my bloodied soul.
And then, I did not weep today!
Forward, back, dizzying heights, damaging depths. There is no rhyme, no reason. It is a rock-strewn road that exists on no map. It is a path that no two people have trod the same. It is a wonder, peppered with brilliance. It is a curse, but I am healing.
I know this. I know it because I am alive. I know it because I took steps – literal steps. Today I tasted the sweet, early Spring breeze. I moved on streets half iced, half wet, glinting in sun. I swam and breathed air, but not pirate-tongued air. I moved.
It is true too that I yielded and reached for my words, preaching to my limping soul, but when I yielded this day it was to regroup, to breathe again so that I could move again. It is true that I cursed, that I almost wept, but I am healing.
Tomorrow I will still walk this rock-strewn road, and tomorrow after that. But I will also find more slivers of peace in the shattered timbers of this time. And I will revel in ever more tangles of sunlight. I will move.
I may weep. I may curse. I may question and even rage awhile. I will surely reach for my words again – sunlight or no – because I am healing.