Write the fire from your bones, she said.
As if the fever inside won’t break until I do.
I am the earth under plate tectonics; everything is shifting.
Somehow, the cornfields are a comfort, with their thin, starched stalks, bright wheat coloring the bottom of a ribbon-wrapped blue sky.
How I no longer race through the days to escape on an airplane and fly to the familiar, drape my skin in what my eyes and hands and feet know so well without even skipping a breath.
And my heart, coming through the black storm of my soul. Like the waters have receded, still damp remnants on the soil, but plenty of green plotted surprisingly in the garden of my chest. Tender and delicate, but faithfully digging in their roots.
I am not the same person I was when I first walked this unfamiliar. Mostly, I do not recognize the face holding my gaze in the mirror. She is dark hair sheared short, jaw bones dipping into cheeks. And eyes, wide and frightened, spinning blue unsure whether to dart or stay. Angles of my body unaccustomed to their new landscape. I trace my fingers around curves long buried. I am used to hiding; the way shirts hold my shape makes me want to run and stay in shadow.
When I told my family I was not coming home in October my father said nothing, simply walked away from the phone. Though she tried, my mother could not hide the sadness in her voice. Forever worrying about letting down the ones I love will always play with my conscious.
But how can I sprout a new life if I am not released from where I once was planted? A seed that sails through the air to reach another field must first be freed from its shell.
Autumn is so beautiful without even trying.
I suppose I want my life to be the same.
When I open my heart to God, I need assurance that He will handle it with care. It has been so battered and bent I fear its shape unrecognizable. If His hands are steady, they must also be soft.
It’s a fine line, this life. On the balance of spinning one way or another. I am reminded of my friend’s words, that it will be hard. But it had better get better.
To write the fire from my bones I must first strike kindling. And kindling comes from the first crackles of this new skin. While I am not ablaze, neither am I ashes.
I am beginning, without even realizing when this metamorphosis arrived, how subtly it slipped inside to do its work, quiet and with purposed strides.