Sunday, September 7, 2014

Watersheds

I've never felt as vulnerable as I do right now. Awaiting a diagnosis will do that to a person, I suppose, and yet what I am discovering is that this fragile period is opening me up in ways I hadn't anticipated. I walk around with one of my breasts chronically tingling, as if ready to let down at any moment, and I find that the feeling itself makes me more generous with others.

An example: I have never felt such maternal affection for the children in our classroom as I do right now. These nineteen children are dear. Others concur; we do have a wonderful group this year. But it's more than that, for me as I am right now. I am wide open, exposed to each and every one of their tender young hearts. And open to adults, too: I am seeing so much that is good in everyone with whom I interact.

I would not have expected this gift - of seeing beauty wherever I cast my eyes - to blossom from a bed of fear and worry. But it makes some sense. These pinprick reminders of mortality heighten empathy, for we all - no matter how different from one another we may seem - will spend an equally fleeting time with feet placed perpendicular to earth.

Today I find myself close to tears, of gratitude for you and you and you, and gratitude for all of this. All of it. I walk around the house as I open windows wide to the treat of cool, dry air. I pass a mirror and notice that I am beaming. I hadn't known that my smile was as broad as it appears reflected back at me, but neither am I surprised to find it so.

12 comments:

Yolanda said...

Yes. All if this, yes.

alejna said...

Ah, Sarah, I love you so.

Alisom Percival said...

What a beautiful reaction to this anxious time. You're in my thoughts.

Mary Gilmour said...

you are a very special person.

Bibliomama said...

Oh Sarah, how lovely. A forty-year-old female cyclist was killed in a big fundraising ride that two of my friends were in yesterday. I keep thinking that there's a family and perhaps a close-knit group of friends similar to mine that's now missing a member. It makes me sad, but also so grateful. Love to you.

Chaotic Joy said...

So thankful you are finding joy in the waiting.

Stimey said...

I love you. Your heart is big.

jess said...

This is so beautiful, Sarah. *You* are so beautiful. This kind of awareness only intensifies what was already there.

Helen Richardson said...

It is amazing how pain and joy are inextricably linked. Reading your post made me think of Pema Chodron whose writing I read especially in times of vulnerability and pain. She used a phrase, "... grace with groundlessness" in one of her books... and it is exactly what you are describing. Living in that place of difficulty, of vulnerability, and finding oneself acutely aware of everything. She believes that it is these very moments in which we find the biggest growth. Thinking of you this week : )

ozma said...

You are so wonderful.

Maggie May said...

this has been so very true for me also. anxiety is a door that can open to many paths and one of them is exposed heart. love to you.

Vodka Mom said...

each day. EACH day is a gift, but even more precious when one realizes it while watching a speeding bullet fly by....




prayers.