My daughter is taking a long trip and my son is moving into an apartment with his girlfriend. These are exciting pieces of news. Why then am I crying?
I am emotional, touched by the slightest kindness, connection, bit of warmth. I watch the world move in multiple directions, unsure of my position, in the midst of a swirling windstorm. Where am I? Where are my kids? My parents? My family that keeps me centered and intact? I exist flummoxed and impinged.
My family, now inclusive of my oldest son’s fiance (my daughter-in-law to be) and my second and third sons’ girlfriends, gather for a farewell dinner for my daughter. They show up, and just two days after they showed up for my niece in Colorado. A lucky woman am I to be surrounded by such special people.
But so emotional. I break through the screen, the filter, of my very being. Unprotected, my vulnerability is a curse and a savior. I rattle around my shell as though visiting a mansion filled with untapped rooms and staircases. Which door do I open? Where will the staircase lead? Am I brave enough to make this journey … I don’t know.
In the moment, in the uncertainty, in the murky darkness, I sit directionless. How can something awesome be terrifying? That something, someone – is me. My sense of balance is thrown and I teeter on the edge of what I don’t know. Sometimes delighted, sometimes shivering in trepidation. Emotion contacts my heart in a soggy, water-filled place. I see the world through undulating waves.
The sensation of being left, real or imagined, is a triggered bleeder dragging me into a bloodstained and wilted pasture. There is no movement in yesterday’s news, yet I sink into that meadow with a cradled ease.
I long for the familiar but growth pulls me in other directions, making me fear and love change simultaneously. Stepping from the known, my insecurities roar loudly, calling attention to themselves. They step from secrecy so I take notice. One cannot examine what one does not acknowledge.
Bittersweet, so much is in the rear-view mirror. Miles stand in my wake. When someone leaves and I use the word, leave, loosely, a buried sadness surfaces. Worn, well-trodden paths of crumpled daisies and trampled grass. Fragrant memories fill my nostrils.
Perhaps on the staircase leading to places unknown, new flowers and fragrances will draw me, creating a bridge from what was to what is. If I can focus. For a moment. Without weeping. On the now.