Boo is resting after her morning walk; her head is on her favourite panda and she seems to be half-asleep, as though she is reluctant to slip into slumber because she wants to include herself in my parents’ conversation. My parents are having their breakfast, listening to some devotional songs, and discussing the beautiful, mundane things in life. I observe all of them and my heart fills with gratitude, love, hope, and… peace.
Nothing seems extraordinary about this morning. But I feel like a different person, one whom I haven’t met before, one who is inspired to fan the little spark in her, one who has begun everything all over again, and one who has just started to live. And I am home after five weeks of travel; I am home, in the true sense of the word.
I didn’t wake up to the cacophony of alarm clocks this morning. At 6, my body and mind were ready to embark on a new day. Before I left my bed, I meditated about how things have transpired in the last few months and I was surprised.
When I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, I realised that demons which taunted me for a year have been exorcised, answers which were elusive have been captured, mistakes have been forgiven, and insults have been forgotten.
Where there was an abyss, a sapling has been planted now.
Will the sapling grow strong? Will it stand strong against the gusty winds? Will it offer flowers? Will its branches grow wide? Above all, will the roots be firm? For a mind, that’s so used to cynicism and anxiety, the smallest drop of peace is intimidating too. The most amusing irony of all.
I pull back the train of thoughts and dismiss the questions. For the first time, I make this choice — there is peace and let it just be. Maybe, this blinding brightness might fade. The spell might wear off. Another chasm might appear. But for now, there is peace and I must let it be. How strange it is to see the scars and not recognise that the wounds have healed! But now that the awareness has surfaced, life seems kind and beautiful.
“Nobody will protect you from your suffering. You can’t cry it away or eat it away or starve it away or walk it away or punch it away or even therapy it away. It’s just there, and you have to survive it. You have to endure it. You have to live through it and love it and move on and be better for it and run as far as you can in the direction of your best and happiest dreams across the bridge that was built by your own desire to heal.”
“It was all unknown to me then, as I sat on that white bench on the day I finished my hike. Everything except the fact that I didn’t have to know. That it was enough to trust that what I’d done was true. To understand its meaning without yet being able to say precisely what it was, like all those lines from The Dream of a Common Language that had run through my nights and days. To believe that I didn’t need to reach with my bare hands anymore. To know that seeing the fish beneath the surface of the water was enough. That it was everything. It was my life — like all lives, mysterious and irrevocable and sacred. So very close, so very present, so very belonging to me. How wild it was, to let it be.”
— Cheryl Strayed