I've been working on another blog post but the theme of change has been thick in the air today and late this morning a friend of mine asked a question which triggered some memories. So I thought I would jump in....many prompts late with the 8 minute memoir project a couple of my most admired bloggers are doing right now. I hope that's ok. Even if it's not. I'm doing it. Because that's the kind of crazy maverick I am you guys. ;)
I remember when everything started to really change for me. When things started shifting in a solid way. I had never been comfortable or satisfied with the status quo. Never. Even as a child. But I remember when I started to feel it in my chest. And then in my throat. I remember when it would start making my pulse quicken and my stomach feel hollow with it. When the whole natural universe seemed poised to squeeze it out of me and to hold me up while it did. A little bit more every day, it built and built and built. It actually felt like it was seeping into my bones, making me stronger until I was ready to pour what was left of it out.
I remember running that summer. In the woods and on the beach. Running, listening to music. Always the way in which I find clarity, the way I meet with myself. Two memories in particular stand out to me that summer. Running along the beach . The shore was narrow and uneven where the waves of the lake broke and scattered across it. My left leg was lower than my right on the sand. It was awkward but I was determined. I had to struggle to find every foot hold and my bare feet made light circles as they displaced the water in the sand. My music was telling me that I had to be braver. That my voice was worthy of being heard. That yes it was uncomfortable but it was ok. No it wasn't wrong .Yes. ok. More than ok. Needed. Desperately needed. A sense of triumph and resolve started to grow inside of me.
I remember running in the woods, wanting to please the God that I had grown up with. Pleading for things that made sense to my kind and inclusive heart to synch up with what I heard when I sat on the soft upholstered wooden benches and the cold metal chairs. The way they seemed to for all the other peaceful looking people there. Pleading for my kind and inclusive heart to stop warring with my rebellious, impetuous soul.
I remember the moment the music went quiet. The notes of the music melded with the notes of the birds in the woods. I remember that I saw a lovely doe. It looked at me expectantly but fearlessly and suddenly there was absolutely no doubt. None whatsoever. Just love. My kind and inclusive heart and my rebellious soul were one and they were perfectly in synch. And my voice was strong and brave and needed to be heard.
I still haven't made my voice heard on the issues I was wrestling with regarding my religion and faith in the way I envisaged and I will know when the time is right for it. If ever.
But I made my voice heard in my own personal life. The courage I took from those moments. The peaceful confirmation of myself as a wise and valued member of the universe taken from those sacred moments, offered to me by the sand and the water and the soft forest floor and the birds and the butterflies and the doe and the sun filtered through the green of the trees. That acceptance and courage allowed me to confront ugly truths and damaging people when I least expected to have to. And that confrontation was painful and dark at times and took almost everything I had to offer. But I never regretted it. Not even for one moment.
I will never swallow or doubt my kind and inclusive heart or my rebellious soul when they clamor urgently for my voice to be heard again. And the knowledge of that feels like the sun rising inside of me.