I have a confession of a torrid love affair I am having with myself.
After years of merely being an acquaintance, perhaps even “a friend” (though mostly of the love/hate variety).
I finally saw that special something I thought I’d been missing because I’d been so convinced that I didn’t have it.
A Love story:
I stood upon the mountain and I looked back at all the miles my own two sturdy feet had carried me.
Over rocks, ledges, lush greenery and broken branches.
My feet, my hobbitish feet, with the crooked toes and the marks of my illness forever etched in them.
My yucky feet with the three tiny black hairs that sprout from each big toe.
My gigantic feet that grew two sizes from the surging hormones of my crowded womb.
And now I see the stripes of scars upon them. The imperfection in not having red glossed toenails and a pumice stone and I love them.
I climbed and crawled down through the darkness distracted by the glittering display of light on cave slime.
Stumbling stiffly along. Uncomfortable in my own body.
Relying first on the love of my family then as my comfort and understanding grew, on my own eyes and mental acuity, and finally on nothing but feel, trusting in my own senses in this unfamiliar realm.
Ears alert to the sound of the drops of water to my right.
Fingertips grazing the slimy cold texture of the wall to my left.
Breathing deeply and peacefully in and out.
Each step careful and deliberate.
Stepping…stepping…step. step. step…and then I fell.
One thousand solid steps and in my complacency, monotony, lulled into security.
Suddenly, the ground failed to be found by my right foot and in the darkness I crashed down to the rocks below me.
Stunned and then in pain I lay there.
Mentally feeling for the bruises and wounds.
Searching for a light to see where I’d went wrong.
I’d hugged the comfort of the wall too tightly and in my self imposed blindness I’d not seen the narrow ledge I’d been ascending.
Bruised but not broken, I stood.
Turned out the light once more and pressed on, this time more carefully and more aware of the dangers to be had in becoming dulled by routine.
Eternity ticked by, one carefully placed step after another.
Feeling with the dirty toe of my right tennis shoe. Determined not to make the same mistake.
Convinced of my righteous journey.
And, suddenly it hit me.
I was descending into a dead end in pitch darkness.
I’d seen that sign telling me so.
And all the time I’d known that just behind me, I’d briefly seen and passed a staircase up.
Cave dwelling: A mad dance to be tackled occasionally but not without a purpose.
Knuckles missing… knees torn…hip bruised…ankles strained…eyes raw…and thirstier than I’d ever been before…
And, as I crowed out loud in joy at my salvation, I knew that I was, am, and always will be not only my own worst enemy but also my own best saviour.
Our bodies and minds are funny things, fueled by what we give them, they can only give back the same.
Crap begets crap and I’m tired of crapping on myself.
Better than gold is green.
Better than couches and channels of discovery are mountains beneath your shoe soles.
And better than continued breathing of stale cave air is to toil through and emerge worn and victorious, knowing that you can survive the lowest of places, but that it doesn’t mean you have to take up residence.
I woke up blessed with another day today.
And I am in love with the most beautiful girl I’ve ever known.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Apprentice Editor: Brandie Smith/Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Author’s Own.