The sun sets behind me like candy floss, pulled like so much nothingness by a child across the sky. I pause to watch the leaves waver in the air, the sheets of grass softly wave, a tiny bird dart across the trail ahead of me, the dull red of it’s feathers faintly visible until they’re not.
I find perfect purple flowers, a cluster of fantasy on the edge of the gravel, and steal a bunch, twirling in my fingers as I walk along, eyes wide, skin damp and alive. I slow to a stop, the light like gold through my hair, those shining moments late in the day which fill my heart.
It hits me then, how long it’s been since I’ve felt joy, and how sorely I have missed giving myself permission to do so.
The flowers are lovely. But the smile, it stays longer.
I could blame any number of things. The weather, my mother dying, the things people have done to me, the things I’ve done to them, genetics, Fuck, I could blame chaos theory if I wanted really. If I wanted something to blame. I could blame falling in love too young with the wrong person, or falling out of love.
But I don’t. Oddly, I find myself feeling newly washed and free of it all, released from the expectation that I would be a helpless mess, or I would fall apart. How grueling the memories we imprint ourselves with, the needs and wishes we fulfill even as we rail against them, even if we nearly destroy ourselves in the process.
It’s like being born, or how I imagine it would feel, the new world opened to my eyes, the sense of self returning, the laugh in my belly, like fire and willing. A sense of adventure, of humour, of pleasure, returning like the blood rushing to your feet after you’ve sat far too long, waiting.
Returning. Or becoming. Either way, as days pass, and I recall how easily I once felt happiness, joy and love, and I grow farther from that place which threatened, I walk taller, and I smile easier. I am easier.
How? I find myself asking. How did I ever survive with so little wonder?