The short, bitter days abruptly end, and the sun decides to stay out well after dinnertime.
I begin to shed clothes that just weeks before I had been layering on. I sleep with a single bed-sheet instead of tucking myself underneath endless covers each night. And now I feel the rush of new life flood my soul and bleed out into my body, reminding my heart that it’s time to beat again.
A restless ache begins to settle, like pollen right after a spring shower.
“I’m okay,” I whisper to the dogwood flowers perched on the branches of the tree that just barely peek into my open window. The cicadas sing southern Baptist hymns that remind me of where I came from.
“I’m okay,” I whisper again as I retrace the steps I’ve taken to arrive here, in this very moment. A few times I took the long route—well, more than a few—passing the same old petrol station numerous times until finding the hidden dirt road behind that stubborn stretch of Eastern Carolina tobacco.
I’m sure there are places I should have stopped along the way, to pick peaches and watch horses run. Maybe a few hidden gems like, old ice cream stands where the homemade strawberry in a cone would’ve been worth the drive. I’m positive there have been too many sunsets I’ve overlooked and sunrises I’ve slept through. And I’m most certain I could have fallen madly in love with the way the stars sparkle in a strangers eyes—so many strangers I walked right past, so many eyes I blatantly chose not to see. I, too consumed with the pitter patter of my own feet, and my own fate I had predestined myself, to self obsessed to see the world that lay in front of me.
I take a deep breath, whispering to mother earth, “I’m okay.”
I’m here now, I’ve arrived, and the stars are brighter than ever before. I’m seeing with my soul instead of my societal eyes. In lust with the array of colors that fill the entire canvas, instead of the drab that inhabits just the top left corner. The beauty had been here all along, I just had to open the shades to let the rays seep in.
The moon was full last night, and I held the hand of an overlooked pair of eyes. I never noticed the way they shone so bright, until I stopped and opened mine.
So I make a promise to the universe, to no longer sleep through so many sunrises and to pause for every sunset that follows me wherever the pitter patter of my feet may lead.
I vow to embody the human experience as fully as my mind can expand, and my heart can take. I will notice every stranger, and fall in love with the soul and not the story.
For winter has died.
Spring has bloomed,
and I can start again.
Author: Emily Gordon
Editor: Emily Bartran
Photo: Ezra Jeffery/Unsplash