I have held her after midnight while soft music rocks us back in time to the hiding places, the quiet spaces, the hours in contemplation and the cradle of no-mind as she creates word designs and curving colors formed into patterns, the numb years of twenty-something and the wide-awake, young-girl aching for a thing she could not define but resembled safety for her breaking heart. We’ve shared tears and a knowing, and from the future-now, I have given her permission to feel every emotion (once inaccessible to her) that is born of being wounded as we were.
Now she is waiting for me to hear her. She reminds me of what I knew before it hurt, that creating joy is the best thing and not choosing it is a form of insanity. I am gifted with replays that remind me how frustrated I felt at eight, nine, ten, not knowing why the grownups were holding back, turning their attention away from what would bring them and us delight, holding so tight to worry that it became the only thing, the steering wheel, a tension like a living being hovering from every corner.
She is waiting for me to see that I have done the work and while my inner child may yet need another hug, more loving attention, healing even, she is mending and hopeful and that she is me, ready to live our truth, ready to be the grownup who consistently chooses joy, presence, serenity, the mother who says yes more than maybe tomorrow, who dances in the living room with her jubilant offspring and listens to their tales no matter how confusing the narrative, a soul having an uplifting spiritual experience in the here and now.
I see her looking back at me, a light in her eyes, hand outstretched, ready to walk with me as we step into the beautiful unknown, a life lived with love (and not avoiding fear and discomfort) as our steering wheel. I reach out for her, grateful for a trusted guide.
I’ve been meditating on this question for days. The answer is, so far, longer than I am able to pen, and will grow as days pass, but I wanted to share the question and some of what has come through the years in reply.