The sun beams down through the stained glass onto the floor early in the mornings now. It is light when I get up, a physical lightness of being that helps me shrug off the immense weight of this winter. I cup cold water onto my face and meet my own gaze in the mirror, never failing to notice the pale skin, dark circles under my beautiful eyes. The lines under my eyes are soft but the experience within the halos of green corneas give me away for free.
Inevitable but excusable truths include not being able to get enough sleep, not being able to keep the dust away in this giant, quiet house. The kids will come back in a few more days and play in the sun as it moves from board to board and from the front windows to the back. And then quietly after dinner the beams are suddenly gone and light from artificial sources forces the perceived shadows back into hiding.
Only no one hides from them, we have learned to coexist.
I can't keep up and there are times when I can't even begin. Days and days where I come in from morning errands and crawl back beneath the blankets and read for hours because I am paralyzed somewhere between my emotional labyrinth and the life that waits for me outside the bedroom door. Promises of good things repeated loudly and endlessly and I still have a hard time believing that I will ever be anything more than that fluttery girl with fluttery hands and a fluttery heart, with the quilt pulled up, pretending she isn't even in the room.
Who am I kidding? Of course I will be more. I already am more. I turned a corner and am scooping up handfuls of life to live on my own terms. My life. My precious life with love on my terms and fun on my terms and history on my terms and maybe for the first time there are days I don't do what I'm told and times I don't jump to be a slave to my phone and even moments where I close the laptop and sneak under those covers with an orange and a new book, flaunting every last piece of good advice that says if you peel an orange in close quarters you wind up with a sticky face and sticky sheets and no one will care because it's your bed and your face and your mess and I really need to try this with a box of tea biscuits because crumbs would be more fun and destructive than orange juice in tiny splashes of sweetness or maybe...
...just maybe, I will close my eyes instead and sleep for just a little while longer.