It seems like all of us are going through growing pains. Munchkin is adjusting to school, Elf is – quite literally – stretching his bones overnight, and I… I’m growing too.
Transition. That is the title and theme of the writing class I just finished, and it is so apt for this season in my life.
We had our first snow this morning – not much – but you can see the skiffs on unmoved cars and in the ground hollows. I have yet to rake my leaves, but no matter – they’re going on the garden and in the compost anyway. I’m still leaving the melancholy, reflective moods of Samhain behind me (most people know it as Halloween & Dia de los Muertos). Paul Cardell is playing on Pandora (piano music, if you are not familiar with him), and I have both boys home today. Munchkin is sick and he’s hanging out on the couch. I’m grateful for it, actually. School has been challenging in many ways (not academically, that’s part of the issue) and he needed a break. Although I’m sad he is sick, I am grateful for this respite. I’ve needed a break too.
The funny thing about the quote above is that I’ve always had the idea, and perhaps you have too, that the pain was only in remaining closed and tight-bound, restricted by the loving swaddles of family and friends and really – ultimately – ourselves. We bind ourselves, afraid to grow, afraid to rock the boat, afraid of what others might see in us… or what we might see in them if we manifest our truest, most authentic responses. It’s painful and heartbreaking and stifling.
But then, when we’ve finally had enough, when it’s too hard to keep our wings furled, and we start peck peck pecking at that calcified shell over our hearts… oh, the pain of birthing ourselves into the light. Feeling all slick-shiny and tender-skinned and blinking wide-eyed at all the possibilities. It’s scary. The appeal of turning around, nuzzling back into those comforting, enfolding bindings we’ve only just left behind… so tempting.
Do you know what I mean? I bet you do.
Over the past month, I’ve been wrestling with spectres from my past. I don’t write about them much here. I’ve shied away, worried that it will be perceived as a pity ploy, afraid of exposing too much and hurting loved ones.
But. There is always a but. Growing pains.
I was given the opportunity to write about how I found my voice and my light for Jena Schwartz’s Roar Session series. She took a chance on me, she really did, and for that I will be forever grateful. My essay, Roar from the Darkness, was published on her site this past Monday. I have been overwhelmed with the love and gifts of compassion I have received since.
If you haven’t read it yet, I’d love it if you did. And if you already have, thank you.
I’d also like to encourage you to read the other essays and poems. They’re all thought-provoking, exquisite explorations into what it means to have a voice and trust yourself. And then, either here or there, I’d love it if you’d share your own roar and growing pains.
And lastly, my wish for you, whether you’re still pecking away at your shell or have spread your wings to fly… is that the pain be in equal parts balanced with love and joy.