09:40 have had breakfast and gone for walk with the fam; saw donkey and horses, and the horse farmer’s son tending them; he nodded and waved, and I smiled and waved back.
Saw god’s loving eye in the sky. A whorl of golden light in silver clouds. The horses were free and unfettered, nibbling fresh nubs of grass brought forth by the recent rains and sun. One, deep tan with black mane and tail, was framed on the hilltop by the light from god’s eye.
I felt so much love and gratitude and health and clarity.
My husband and four boys loped ahead of me as I stopped to whisper to the donkey.
Four! Four of them! There were days when I beat myself up mentally for this fact, mainly for their sakes. I’d had no idea how hard it would be, no idea how difficult it would be to do even an adequate job of raising them.
The baby part had been challenging in the extreme but at least it had been simple — each, in the early years, had been a symbiotic extension of myself; part of and one with my own body, either in my belly or at my breast or in my arms or on my back. Then they’d begun to run instead of walk, and they’d begun to drink out of cups instead of cheek to heart, and soon they cleaved more to their father than to me and everything became more free (for me) and yet more complicated.
Y is beside me now as I tap into my phone.
Hair freshly trimmed by his father, in his father’s own image. He is beamingly pleased; a small man. But he also still has some of me in him. Pale freckled skin, dark copper-blond hair, as mine used to be. Eyes like mine as well. But the cleft chin and impish grin of his father.
08:18 there is golden light coming through the windows of this attic bedroom… it reminds me of one pale golden blue morning, some years ago, just after I’d wanted my world to end.
Nothing specifically terrible was happening; I just felt overwhelmed, over-worked, under-appreciated, and like I was trapped forever in this awful reality I’d created for myself, one in which I was essentially a slave by my own design.
Who was I? I no longer knew. I was the embodiment of the desires and needs of others. I felt all that was vibrant and creative in me had disappeared, replaced with worry, exhaustion, futility and finally, resentment.
A neighbour woman, a mom and housewife, had recently died, deemed due to alcohol and prescription drug overdose; the death was pronounced suicide. How could she have done it? Leaving her children like this? And before I knew it I found my thoughts wandering toward similar tracks.
I was hanging laundry at the time. I hate my life, I thought.
But the moment I imagined ending it all, I knew it would be a hopeless and ultimately selfish act, no matter how inadequate I felt; it would infect my family and the community with this catching disease of despair. If I truly wanted to escape my life, far better to pack a bag and head for the hills. That way there would always be a chance for redemption; for a change of heart and mind. There would always be hope.
In that moment I realized I was, in fact, free. That all my perceived chains were imaginary and of my own making, and I could thus break them at any moment. And so in that moment, the imagined chains disappeared.
I finished hanging the laundry, I went on to the next task which was to get the mail. Neither of those tasks were relevant or meaningful except that I remember the laundry lines, the clothespins, the mailbox covered in ivy, all as though they were photographs backing the verbal thought-stream passing through the tumbler of my mind.
At the mailbox, I decided that every time I thought “I hate,” I would replace it with “I love.”
I love so-and-so. I love myself. I love my life.
I didn’t mean it, at first. I laughed ironically at these recycled words and at myself, at first. But eventually, I began to truly love again all that I’d recently thought I’d hated, and finally then, I began again to live, in earnest.
One morning, I did not ask for permission or approval to do the things I needed to do in order to love and to live.
I got up early, leaving my husband to care for the children if they woke up; I went running down the valley and then up the other side. I stopped and turned, looking back to the place from where I’d come.
To the left, in the east, the sun had not yet risen. But the sky was growing light; the hills were beginning to glow iced green, glazed in winter frost. Along the horizon, all the way south to the chain of dormant volcanoes, a new day was alighting where earth met sky. The colours were extraordinary: pale golden blue.
The sight of it, the chill and thrill of it took my breath away; it took all self-inflicted pain away; I was momentarily breathless, emptiness. And at last, when I finally inhaled, unbridled joy filled and warmed my veins. I found myself kissing my fingertips and raising my hands to the still-starred sky, and whooping and shouting.
I love you! You are beautiful! I yelled to the world, and thus to myself, and to my life.
And then I ran home.
~ nadine / bloomwords / sobrietytree