Friday, May 4, 2012
an emancipation proclamation
i was fourteen and still swinging in the old tire hanging off the tree near the creek behind our house. i would lay on my belly against the rubber, my eyes facing the cracked mud and tiny clover on the ground. i remember turning in circles, twisting the rope until it was tightly coiled. then i would pull my legs up to my chest and tense my body as the swing unraveled itself, spinning me dizzily.
i thought about that afternoon this morning. that specific day. i don't have many days that i specifically remember from my youth. i have stages, sure. the big t-shirt phase. the year i chopped my hair into a horrible bob to look like mary-anne from the babysitter's club. on that note, the years i read nothing but babysitter's club books in my spare time and even formed my own club at school. the humid summer i met robert. the short season i like raisins. there are waves of time that encompass entire years and half-decades. days often elude me. but not that one.
i thought about that sensation. that tensing and releasing, tightening and loosening. and i realized there's a similar one stirring now. an anxiety sitting on my chest. a wound rope around my heart in need of a good unravel.
so it's warm bath time. front porch rocker time. bible reading in the early morning when the house is still asleep time. beach towel on hot sand time. it's slower now than that september day. more methodical and intentional. but the unwind will come. the release is already happening. and just as i pushed off the red clay, muddying my tennis shoes and spraying pebbles into the wood, i am preparing for takeoff.
this morning, it means lots of dark coffee and deep breaths. tonight, it will mean sitting by my grandfather's bedside as he prepares for another type of liberation. a breaking of the chains of this life. we're all winding up. it's how we unfurl that defines us.