She found herself, alone again, by the ocean. The waves lapped at her feet, trying to pull her in and keep her out simultaneously. Her toes sent shivers up her spine, and she shook them out and she shook them out again as she reached up to the sun and ran into the water. She didn’t care that air slipped out of her. She didn’t care that for a moment, no one could see or hear her. She didn’t care about anything other than that moment of relief from everything else. As she emerged from the depths and blinked the salt from her eyes, she found a smile on her face. The surprise of the smile made her laugh; it had been a while.
Then the memories flooded back from their escape. She felt the weight of goodbye and the reality of loss. Him. Her and Him. She felt them and held them and when she was ready she set them in the ocean to float away. She kissed the anger and sadness and confusion into her hands and put them in the water. “Goodbye,” she whispered to the wind. Then she turned and walked out of the water and did the only thing she could do.
That night the ocean danced out of her eyes, onto her guitar, onto her bed. She let everything that needed to come, come and go when it was ready. Time happened for the next few days like this, allowing space for him to go and her to come back. She had been through the motions before. Luckily. And she planned to again.
It was a gentle transformation of untangling the person she let in from herself. She found there were some strands that weren’t quite hers anymore, and so she pulled them gently out into the pile she planned to shed. Once she had sorted through the keeps and dont’s, she wove a garden bed and planted seeds for the summer. She felt movement inside herself. An ember that had caught flame and started to burn. It was hers, and she had forgotten that she was responsible for it’s light. Another smile crept across her face, rooted in the flame, she was coming home.
The next month she found herself on mountain-tops and small streams. Coming back into her body felt as though someone was carrying her and showing her to all of the places she had known, but was learning again. As time passed, she slipped back into her body, first in the strength of her legs, then out to her fingertips, then into her stomach and chest and heart, and finally her head. She fit perfectly into herself and wondered where she had been the whole time.
The novelty of being in her own skin again caused her to dance and stretch and feel everything for herself. She had been lost, blind-sighted by the magic of loving another, but found the feelings of the world were there for her too. She took a breath. And then another. Everything was alive. She was alive. It felt like magic.
The next breath, her deepest breath, filled her lungs with sweet coastal air and she stepped out of one story and into the next. She was home. She is woman.