After a very busy week (during which I didn’t even have time to reply to the comments on my last post – sorry sorry sorry to you all……I have now done so….thank you all for your kindness), I’m joining in with Five Minute Friday.
This week’s word: Alive
(My first thoughts went, immediately, to Andrew, such a valuable and valued member of the FMF community…)
An evocative word this week – even more so than usual – coming, as it does, in the aftermath of yet more senseless deaths (I know all of our hearts go out to those affected by the events in Turkey and Brussels) and as we pass through Easter, a time of deep reflection on what being alive signifies, on what our responsibilities are in this life.
It’s become so watered down, it’s almost a bumper sticker, a sort of plaster for the self-help generation, but it’s a fact…
…life is precious.
We only get so many days to be alive. We never know when it’s our time. When our time will come to exit life.
Yet we often live our lives on mute, on standstill……moving through our days as if they’re endless, as if we get to press repeat on our journey here on Earth. Continuing with habits that don’t bring us joy, that don’t lead to us realising our best selves. Not doing all we can to make our time on Earth mean all it could.
But our days? They’re not endless and we don’t. There’s no repeat button.
Hopefully we’ll be gifted a long life.
But maybe we won’t.
I reflect on this often and remember Mary Oliver, who taunted, so powerfully, “What will you do with your one wild and precious life?”
I smile when I think of this because I remember my old life, which used to be wild – full of adventure, full of travel and laughter and real, tangible, gems every single day. A life that brought me so much joy, made me feel so alive. Like I was grabbing life itself and shaking it and squeezing the juice out of all of it.
Those memories make me smile whilst shedding tears of nostalgia.
I feel – have felt for a long time now – an ache, a deep soul-level longing – for more. To not only know I’m alive but to feel like I’m truly living. To use my capabilities more often, for more.
But the baggage that weighs me down seems to get heavier each day (trauma is a many-headed beast, a veritable hydra of shocks and nasty surprises). Daily rainstorms turn the baggage to lead on my back. Concrete powder wetting and setting at my feet, slowing me down, rooting my feet to the spot whilst my body is ready, poised for action.
I look at my now….not wild, not exciting, not full of adventure…but, still, a life that makes me smile. My littles, a source of constant joy. My role of ‘Mama’ enveloping my time. Finding lifelines where I can, how I can. Slowly pulling myself up from my concrete bath and loosening weight from my baggage.
My smiles are now internal smiles, of the ‘resigned contentment’ type, that this is where I am. Knowing that this utterly boring has to be enough for now. Has to be. Or all is lost.
I lean on gratitude: it’s my miracle maker. I’m thankful every single day that I’ve woken up, that I’m alive. That I came through – am coming through – insidious abuse and that I manage to keep the hydra under control. And that she seems to be retreating, slowly but surely.
And I’m hopeful that things will change, that somehow I’ll be able to find the wild again, that I’ll hear it’s call and one day be able to run free after it. It’s a waiting game that’s teaching me patience and the wonder of grace.
It’s horrible, this stasis: is there anything worse than being alive (and healthy) and not really living?
But how how how?
[This is the question I need answering, You. Please].
P.S. I am hoping to get I Will Bloom up and running properly again and am going to be running a series on contentment – like the How to Fall in Love With Your World series – and would love to have some volunteers for guest posts…..hopefully my request won’t fall flat on it’s face and that you’ll come forward…..email me for details at iwillbloomblog – at – gmail dot com.
I promise I don’t bite.