She sat at her nicked, antique dining table clickity-clacking on her laptop.
The sky wasn’t dark, yet rain fell steadily.
Her favorite mug, the pink one with Dorothy’s ruby slippers, sat next to her.
This morning her heart felt like grief. The feeling surprised her and was strangely welcome too.
It felt like years of painful sorrow rising to the surface of the skin between and above her heavy, pregnant breasts and beneath her sharp collar bones. It felt so close to a lump in the throat that leads to steady streams of tears, that she almost disbelieved her pain wasn’t visible to anyone else.
What was most unusual about this particular sensation of grief wasn’t the sureness and suddenness with which it rose, but the overall feeling of pure elation that she also felt.
She felt joy in her belly, like a fire around her hips and up to her naval. She felt happiness at the tip of her tongue and within her glowing blue eyes. She was completely filled with joyfulness that didn’t have a particular reason or an easy explanation. And still, she felt the grief.
The green world outside her large front picture window, where she types, echoes her own internal sensations; the brightly lit sky and the dumping cloud water.
She went to yoga class today.
She almost didn’t go.
She almost stayed home and didn’t do anything in particular while her daughter was in school for two hours, but she knew she should, so she went.
It wasn’t until after a sweaty class, with music pumping and a friend next to her purple mat, that she got into her car and realized that the grief was gone—she’d sweated and moved it away.
Movement for the body is like wind for rain clouds. The sky can clear while the weather moves away from overtop the house on the hill, leaving only sunshine and wet reminders of its wake.
Similarly, unwanted feelings and old, buried burdens can pop up like shocking storm fronts, causing either chaos or delightful relief from something long-over due.
But the garden doesn’t collapse from the strong rain. Instead it’s drenched and fueled to grow. Likewise, the human heart is naturally meant to survive.
We can live in survival mode for years, sometimes without even realizing that we’re there, not really living. And then the sky clears, and the rain isn’t gone, but it lessens and we observe the end of our storm—or the beginning of an ending—and we’re able to recognize what we’ve gained through the downpour.
We’ve gained fortitude. We know that we can make it through something we couldn’t have imagined a red heart still beating after.
And we remember also what it’s like to do more than just survive.
We stretch and reach towards the sunshine that begins to creep along our skin. We recognize that we’re open to letting light back in—open to joy and happiness and love.
And the clouds begin to separate into fragments instead of one black mass and the color brightens within every cell of our being as we move towards something more than our falsely protective jail of survival.
And, for me, physically moving my body—letting sweat glisten and drip and slippery hands slide on my purple rubber yoga mat—has always helped me to see a possibility of an ending to a long, long rain—more, it helps me create one.
So I sat cross-legged next to my friend in yoga class.
My teacher’s previous words that we store “our issues in our tissues” echoed within the caverns of my ears.
And as I bowed my forehead towards my prayer-positioned hands, I honored the storm that had passed through me that morning; that threatened to rock my day, my mood and my deepest self through invisible memories of experiences I’ve already lived through—survived through—and that, frankly, I don’t want to go through again.
I honored, too, the people around me and their own secret-yet-obvious-in-their-own-hearts wounds, and I sent out my new, loving rainbow that this too shall pass for them and for all of us.
This too shall pass—but sometimes it takes our own animated desire to say good-bye.