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.