The windows are open; a warm breeze floats through the screen and caresses my cheeks. Sunshine brightens patches of my orange bedsheets and makes a heating pad for my aching back. I feel old today. Probably because I am allowing myself to. Today I do not need to greet visitors with a smile and pleasant conversation. I can curl inward and feel the aches I have acquired in living. I have a living history, too. It involves struggle and fortitude and being foreign… like those German immigrants I talk about at work…though it is very different in its particulars.
The art of self-comforting. Breathing. Slowing down. Searching for health in the interior of being. Acknowledging tender spots. Bathing them in warmth. And perhaps in tears. I feel the love of my children, my husband, and of summer, wafting around me like a vapor of dreams in dappled green light. I hang on by my toes to a branch of substance, and rock myself to sleep.
Death Valley, CA, last April. Photographed on the trail to Darwin Falls.