Listening To My Body

My body’s talking to me, and being loud about it.  Tensing up, aching, being off balance.  It’s been doing this for the past week.

I’m listening and I know what’s going on.  It’s all about my Mom.  The first anniversary of her death is nearing, and my body remembers.  It’s calling for her and she no longer answers.

Last year, right from the start, the grief for my Mom was physical.  My body was pain, muscles tensed and cramped, nerves agitated and on fire.  I took medication to help ease and get me through, and it helped, but only time brought relief.

At first I wondered what was happening, then two weeks in I began to remember Mom caring for me through every childhood illness, helping me feel better, memory after memory after memory.

She wasn’t here to make me feel better.

I began to feel how physical my connection to her was.

Of course it was.

Her body created and nourished mine before I was born.  The whole of me relied entirely on her for life after I was born.

Of course my body—I, we—grieved for her.  I grieved for the hands that carried me, for the warmth I rested against, for the voice that soothed and reassured me.

There is no fast track through grief.  It comes and go as it pleases, and I will not, can not, close the door to it.  My grief comes out of the love I carry, and I would never close the door to love.

For me, the only track through grief is patience, kindness, and care.  Though the learning has been hard, I know now to allow my body to feel what it must feel, allow my heart to be broken, healing, scarred. 

This is another face of love, the face of allowing and letting go, giving grace and release to one I love and to myself.  Watching her take her path and branch away, as I remain standing, both loving and bereft, on mine.

I love you Mom.  Safe journey.

7 A.M. Love Letter

I’m having lunch with my sisters today, a fiftieth birthday celebration.

Time can pass so quickly.  I look at us and wonder how we grew to the ages we are. I wonder what carried us all the way to today.

For me, I know what carried me and what always carries me. It’s love, big and small.

Big love is my ground, the necessity I stand upon, the flow I rely upon. It’s presence is a constant. I’m never without big love, even when I forget how to feel it. It waits patiently for me to remember and return.  Big love is life.

Small love is something else altogether.

Small love is the spark that appears all through my day like confetti sprinkled, bits of colour to surprise me, have me pause in my busy-ness and not-paying-attention-ness. Pause and notice, rest for a moment, breathe, feel the world that surrounds me. Connect me back to myself.

Here is small love. The sky brightening outside my window, turning towards day. The greys blues pinks in the clouds shifting shifting till all is light.

Here is small love. The blankets on my bed warming me, and the soft pillows behind my back supporting me as I sit here, watching the sky.

Here is small love. The cat coming up the stairs, walking across the floor and then across my bed to say hello, jumping to the window ledge. She knows warmth sits there on sunny days.

Here is small love. The water from our well, cool in my throat when I drink, warm on my face as I wash.

Here is small love. A turquoise blue turtleneck shirt, red fleece vest, and old wrinkled jeans, comfortable and smooth against my skin, bright colours to delight my eyes. Silly socks to hug my toes and make me laugh.

Here is small love to come. Voices I know, talk and care and laughter shared. Sisters who are friends and family and kindness and hugs.

Here is love. A day of small bright moments and a life built of small bright days. Simple gifts to rest in and gentle blessings to carry me, whispering in my heart, telling me I am loved big and small.