There are clouds and there are gloomy days.
There are nights and there are night-crawlers.
There are song birds and there are morning glows.
Feet that shuffle and feet that slap heavily against hot pavement.
Lives to be lived, lives to mourn, lives to adorn, and lives to forget.
Yet, here I sit.
I have witnessed my own life,
blossom under the meticulous care of water and sunlight.
I was granted a mind to wander, a hand to hold, an arm to hug, and lips to sing.
Somewhere, between the miracle of birth and the forgetfulness of yesterday, I grew into a woman.
When did it occur? The day my mother passed away or the moment my female lips pressed into a male mouth? The day I graduated college or the first time I witnessed my wild body betray my disciplined mind? Like the sunrise, my complete shed of adolescence rose up in a jubilant burst of color, only to be missed by sleeping mankind.
My adult body wiggles, worms, and aches. So, I dig into my bitter thoughts with a garden hoe and rake. Who could have known the amorphous struggle of tending to my own self-depricating mind? I turn my back for a split-second and the weeds spring from cracks I never knew existed.
Just last week, a neighbor walked by and pointed out another patch of overgrowth that my dim eyes and deaf ears had completely glazed over. And this is precisely the struggle of adulthood: not to glaze over. We’re all deep-fried walking doughnuts, coated in chocolate and vanilla glaze. The haze between reality and screen-time blurred under a mountain of sprinkles and candied-bacon. And I have known it all, damn it, I know it. Yet, my glaze is lavishly smeared on and endorsing as many cavities as any other gluten-filled bundle of ache.
Yet, here I sit.
Time has passed. There were minutes I sat in harmonious silence with. Others, I shuddered at their very egregious existence. But somehow, the elapse of time within all of these compiled minutes effortlessly melted my glaze into a drizzle. Somewhere between living in a studio apartment without wifi or data on my phone, (much less, Netflix) dating myself and fighting so hard to blaze my own trail that I lost a few souls along the way; somewhere between all of these moments, a small seedling grew arms and legs. A seedling of self-love. I woke up one morning and her new-born leaves finally caught my attention.
I will describe my plant of self-love:
She is patient. She does not react. She waits to respond.
She listens to her own body whether it feels weak or strong. When she is sad, she cradles the shadows of her being with compassion and kind words. She says, “Darling, you are divine. You are strong. You are loved.” When she is strong, she implements tenderness and intentional care to the garden of plants around her.
She sees her mistakes but chooses not to be blinded after the fall. She chooses to learn, to embrace feedback, to admit that she is capable of hurting other plants and will do her best to be kind.
She is rooted in her foundation and in the depths of her being. She does not take off-handed comments personally and she has no reason to slay others with her petals of speech.
She has the capacity to love another. This is only because at the end of the day, she honest-to-wildnerness loves herself with the strength of an exhale and with the tenderness of an inhale.
She sows her seeds. She does not cling tightly to possessions, people, and absolutes. She knows that caring for these matters with wide-open branches creates a world where movement, creativity, and free choice are a given. She is grateful for those who use their free-choice to plant themselves near or right alongside her.
She is alive..