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The Birthday Dance - Friday, Dec. 20, 2019
Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019 @ 9:53 am
Mountains, Fire, and Stars
I wake up two hours before my alarm. I get up and clamber down to the bathroom. I crawl back up into bed and lay there for a while. Roll over one way and hope for sleep. Roll over the other way and hope for sleep. Stare at the ceiling with reproach.
I put on my bathrobe and slippers. The house is a chilly sixteen degrees. Outside, at the woodpile, stacking wood into the canvas sling to bring it into the house. The stars are still out, and the mountains are luminescent across the valley. Crumpling paper, adding kindling, and then lighting the stack. Sitting back to watch the fire catch, listening for the satisfying crackle of the kindling igniting.
I spend an hour making coffee and breakfast. Realize that I need to stop fighting these early mornings - maybe I can shift my schedule around and become one of those enviable bright-eyed five am types.
Later, in the office, Josh and I have a chat. It's become our thing, these early morning heart-to-hearts. I give him the update. He responds with a few things and then pauses. Looks at me.
"You're going to be totally fine. Trust me."
I spend time sorting through a box of paperwork. Bills, taxes, etc. I make a neat stack of all of the counselling receipts. The resulting stack is thick. I find a note to myself, something that I brought into a counselling session.
"You're not going to get your needs met until you can listen to the words coming out of my mouth."
This was something that he'd said to me, over and over. Insisting that he was meeting my needs, that it was my fault that I was not feeling cared for, tended, seen, loved. I'd asked the counsellor how I could become a better listener.
I pick up the stack of receipts and the note. I carry it over to the woodstove, open the door, and shove the wad of paper into the blazing inferno. I close the door and watch it burn until there is nothing left.
I walk home from the grocery store at night. A ten-degree windchill pushes insistently at my face. I shuffle the groceries from one hand to the other, alternately tucking my free hand into its respective warm downy pocket of my coat.
The mountains are again luminescent. The rhythm of sunrise, sunset, and the drifting patterns of snow. I'm walking down the middle of an unplowed road, my boots squeaking on the dry snow.
I look up and see that the moon is full. Already the moon is full again. The moon reflects so much light that it ruins my night vision, casts my shadow across the snow. I stare into it until the shadowy parts appear. Orion hovers over the mountains to the west, the hunter, my protector. Standing behind me, beside me, helping me find my way safely through this lonely forest. (Thank you, M.)
The last full moon, during the eclipse, was when I found my courage. It was a similarly cold and clear night. I realize that I've been untethered from him - emotionally - for a full month. My body cycling through a month of growth and release.
Where will I be on the next full moon?