Guest Post by Lee B.
Symbolic. Ironic. I had been teaching three-syllable words with the /ik/ sound to my reading group when I subconsciously pulled these examples for them to decode. Upon discussing the meanings of the terms, something hit me. My recent past could be summed up by these words; my eyes went wide at the realization.
Let me backtrack and paint you the gloomy picture.
I was pregnant, abandoned, alone and afraid. Years led up to this point in my life – I was supposed to be satisfied with this pregnancy that we had long worked toward, but life had thrown me some intense curve balls. Never had I anticipated that my life would become this: desolation and desperation. With pain and refusal to accept the truth, the pill remained stuck in my throat; it was too difficult to swallow my truth. There, it festered as a life grew inside me. Winter became spring and spring burnt into summer. I became a mother. I said “good-bye” to the green trees blowing in the wind and cried an ocean of tears as I headed inland, far inland, toward the arid desert. I hate the desert. I hated my life.
But it was in the desert that I rose from the ashes, in a place called Phoenix, no less. My soul, in pain and apprehensive began to open. My child became my focus and my selfishness dissipated into selflessness. Why did it take me so long to get here? In my dystopia, I vowed to make good my world, to provide for my child and my soul in ways that I had never done before. Without question, I began to trust that the universe had a plan for me. It was then that the doors began to open.
I was sent here, to this sandy landscape, away from all I’ve ever known, to be reborn. I found life in a landscape representative of death. Happiness and love began to overflow because I was finally open to them. Love was something I thought I understood, yet I was clueless. My child helped me to realize what love is capable of. Looking in the mirror, I realized that I, too, am deserving of love. With a new baby and battle scars, I began to appreciate myself – my mind, my soul and my body. My scars were indicative of pain but growth and strength. My heart became soft again as the scar tissue began to pump away, making one last circulation through my body before departing.
Thank you, life, for the wake-up call. I am now enlightened and finally LIVING. Torch in hand, I have conquered the mountain that stood before me. I have risen up toward the sun, where I can see and breathe, where I have found love, peace, and ultimately, happiness. Thank you, life, for reminding me, through your many tricky ways, to live.