a light breeze floats in through the open window, toying with the light voile drapes in my bedroom. i feel it, but i am somewhere else. i am a million miles away. a million miles high.
i can feel the warmth of healing hands upon my solar plexus. these are not my hands. i am alone in my room, save for my cat, Alf, asleep at my feet.
then, out of the blue, the tears come.
and they flow from somewhere deep inside me. somewhere dark. an emotional dam, breached. a release. a flood.
“take my shadows” i repeat. a mantra.
i see my mother for the first time in three years and i can feel her hands in mine, cool and soft as i remember them being. i tell her that i love her. i tell her that i’m sorry, and that i miss her every day.
i see my father, for the first time in thirty years. he holds me close. i can smell him. i inhale deep and upon exhalation, i know everything is going to be okay.
i see my lover. we are swimming in a deep blue ocean and we embrace, in the water. like the waves we break through, i feel a surge of overwhelming love for him. immeasurable love. and a longing to hold him.
my hands tingling, my heart feels heavy and i cry. i cry for loss. i cry in gratitude. i cry with love.
i am filled with an enormous swell of desire. desire to live. to really live and savour each moment, because it’s the little things that matter: every smile. a scent. a touch. a glance. every feeling. every word ever said.
i feel like i am bathed in light and supreme love. and still the tears flow.
tears of complete joy. joy for having been blessed with the fortune of family and loved ones. joy for having this complex and yet, paradoxically, simple fortress-like shield of love around me. love from my family and my lover, my friends that are family, and the natural world around me.
i see trees. tall trees, stoic and wise. these giants are beautiful and i cry for them. i cannot bear to think of a time when i will not see trees again.
stretching out my legs, i feel Alf’s soft fur against the soles of my feet. i hear him purr in his sleep. i cry for him. tears of joy for having the privilege of his friendship, and the knowledge that one day, he will be ash in my hands… just like my mother, whose remains (or what’s left of them) are in a small box, in a drawer, by my bed.
i see my grandparents. humble folk, hardworking folk and cry for the feelings of loss. of being cheated because i never knew them. but they are smiling.
i see my dear friend, Jess. my lover’s gran. i see her smile. we look into each other’s eyes for the perfect time.
i feel blessed to know these beautiful souls, and to have been bestowed and entrusted with their love, their knowledge and wisdom, their guidance and other gifts. gifts of smiles, embraces, shared laughter and raised glasses.
but the pain of loss and the knowledge that everything is infinitely temporary shakes my heart.
everyone is smiling, except me. the tears roll down my face and soak the pillow beneath me. i squeeze my mother’s hands. she tells me to let it all go.
and i do.
and i am back in the ocean with my love, and we are kissing. tears of joy rushing back to the ocean. it’s like we have found each other again. i don’t ever want to lose that.
i focus on my breathing and soon become filled with an inner sense of calm and purpose.
i want to live. live better. to create. to live and love.
because love is everything.
Words & Images (c) Kat McDonald 2020