Sensibility

How do you share your thoughts, your feelings, when you’re unable to understand why you’re voicing them in the first place?

When your own reasoning is obscure…

When the point of your thoughts actively swims away from your grasp, hastily plunging into muddy, mental waters…

This is how nearly all of my deeper emotional moments captivate my mind, loudly begging me to chase down their meanings.  This is also the very reason I write.  Description and understanding fuel my busy mind.  I want, more or less need, to unravel my own mystery.  Does that make sense?

Yesterday, my youngest daughter fell asleep on my lap.  Her active two year-old little body momentarily stilled, enraptured by a subconscious dreamland.  These moments have become all too fleeting.

Wanting to see her resting face, I took my phone and snapped a photo of us together.  We’re on my in-laws divan, nestled together.  Her small frame is tethered by warmth to mine as I view the photo I just took.

My eyes witnessed what I knew I would find; her small, cherub face touched by the glow of peace that only sleep brings a small child.

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Without warning, I felt on the cusp of an ugly cry session.  Why does the sight of my safely, sleeping child pressed against my chest reduce me to tears?  Why am I plagued with the anxiety of absolutely losing my emotional sanity that very moment?

I have learned that our inner ambiguity does come with options.  We are unrestrained; free to choose resolution, or flee into the land of dispassion. We can acknowledge our feelings, or walk far from them.

The power really is ours.  Emotion does not correlate weakness.  Showing emotion doesn’t make you lesser, either. It’s human.

Even when we don’t understand our emotion, we can be bold, free-diving into the blackness of our own confusion, shielded by the blazing fire of our own curiosity. It’s okay to cry and not know why, and then will yourself to find the answer.

We are allowed to set off in exploration of our own feelings, because sometimes, we need to lean into our emotions to understand how they arrived at our mind’s or heart’s doorstep.

We are also allowed to turn away, fearful or impartial to what lies beneath our confusion. Sometimes, we need to shelter ourselves from emotion because it hurts.  It’s okay to hide for a moment too, just not forever.

As I sat upon the divan cradling my sleeping toddler, I chose option number one. I started to sift through the why of my impending hysterics, as I tried to keep from swerving into the cry lane.

Unapologetically, I tend to be that person who obsesses over the deeper meaning of a moment.  It’s the same way I listen to music, especially the sappy kind–I want to feel the lyrics, I want the words to evoke emotion.

As I dug through my unbalanced, emotional state, I found the trigger. The picture I’d taken of the present transcended a picture my father-in-law had taken in the past. I wrote about that picture after it had a massive strike on my heart, a year and half ago.

Anabella being held by her Great Granny Polly, who passed away a year and half ago. The image flashed in my head like a slow blinking, strobe light. The memory came alive inside my mind.

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{Anabella softly curled into Granny Polly’s chest, her little eyes closed, soothed by the sound of Polly’s heart.}

On the brink of overwhelming sensibility, I often have to remind myself that not everything needs to be understood.  I have to force myself to not act on the emotion, or even acknowledge its presence.

Otherwise, I will run myself in circles, trying to understand every emotion that skitters across the plane of my life.

On the verge of heavy tears, my husband called that moment. I didn’t have to choose–to sink into the moment, or run away from it–he was my reprieve from the infamous ugly cry that burned at the edges of my eyes.

Instead, I got to hold the moment, cupping it in my hands, before I placed it back into the pocket of my heart.

Even if I didn’t chase for the clarity of my heavy emotions, I was blessed with the understanding regardless…

Time is such a gift.

All my daughters have been blessed to be in the presence of their great-grandmothers.

Time gave them that gift.

The picture of Granny Polly with Anabella stirs something deep within me, the variations of the butterfly affect and the humility tied to it–we all come from somewhere and have an affect on someone.

“I have learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”                 –Maya Angelou

By choice, all of their great-grandmothers have shown their great-granddaughters love–the most influential language.

Their character gave my daughters that gift.

Today, I am so thankful for not only the treasure of time, but also emotions–the sad, heart-wrenching kind, the joyful kind, the ugly kind, and even the fearful kind–because they truly are the building blocks that construct the moments that make a life.

Love Her, but Leave Her Wild…

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Confession:  I went on a vacation last week.

Yet, the word vacation doesn’t seem appropriate.

Vacation means a getaway, an escape from something.

When someone says, “I need a vacation,” most have a picture trapped inside their head, their minds cutting straight to the scene of themselves relaxing on the beach.  (yes, I’m most minds)

And yes, I did commit the standard cliché on my getaway.

Several times, I found my bikini clad body burrowed against the warm, coarse sand, my skin being kissed by the burning sun.  I laid upon the shore absorbing the feel of sea air gently rippling over my legs, my arms, my face, while the chorus of crashing waves sang to me.  The whole experience lulled me into complete relaxation.  And it was glorious.

But this was only one small vacation part of such a vast adventure.

The word adventure rolls off my tongue better.  It sounds exciting, maybe even clandestine.  The word adventure leaves me curious…

It makes me want to ask questions.  Where will you go on this adventure?  What does an adventure entail?  Will you find something?  Are you even seeking anything?

My truth, an adventure is a place where you can discover pieces of yourself.

I had an adventure.

I could write an endless chapter describing all the things I discovered while in paradise (also known as the island of Maui) during my seven-day stay, but I’ve got mountains of laundry to finish, bills to be paid (hello reality), so I will just note some highlight feelings.

  • First, I fear flying…but the act of shamelessly holding my sister-in-laws hand felt like a safety lifeline.  God Bless her hand holding.  Here is where I proclaim that I know without doubt that she loves me, because she is not a hand holder.  (also squealing in lieu of crying, mixed with copious amounts of fruity sunset drinks, helped me cope with the plane anxiety, it also made others loudly laugh at me–I’m glad my anxiety serves a happy purpose).  IMG_5204
  • I went on this trip with my mother-in-law, her sister, and my sister-in-law.  This adventure deepened my love for women.  This trip felt like a sleepover with your very best friend, three-fold.  I’ve always known how beautiful women are, but this secluded time–carved out of our busy lives–made me appreciate the softness inked with bold undertones women possess too.  How vivacious our souls truly are in the company of women who simply adore other women.  It was a connection forever imprinted upon me.  Women need this bond with one another.  IMG_5827
  • It gave me an appreciation for the happiness garnered through nature.  The way the mere sight of the ocean and tropical covered mountains can breathe life into your very being.  How the smells of salted air, the peppered aroma of plants laced with the subtle hints of floral both awaken your senses and yet, slow time down.FullSizeRender-2
  • It was being alive, feeling your heart beat faster as you hiked through paths not easily traveled to wind up on the other side of the mountain, your eyes laying claim to a gorgeous lagoon.  It was gliding down a zip-line screaming so loudly your lungs ached, but feeling the rush of invincibility–living beyond the moment, crushing your fear, tasting wicked courage and adrenaline on your tongue.  IMG_0033
  • It was allowing yourself to be comforted by the vastness of this Earth.  Everyday comfort zones of our life can allow our problems, our trials to feel so large.  When you go somewhere outside your comfort zone–like the shore of a beach and feel the strength of a tide, water rapidly being pulled from your under feet–it’s the most daunting, yet exhilarating shield in the face of reality.  We are so small, powerless to nature.  It’s a healthy regard to allow yourself to be settled and owned by this poignant fact.  It gives you an appreciation for how small our problems really are in the face of an entire world.  This is true freedom. FullSizeRender-4
  • It was the comradery shared between four women.  A sisterhood obtained upon an island with endless adventure.  The ache of our stomach muscles after a solid week of straight laughter.  The solace of sharing our happiness, our whimper of fear snorkeling in a shark filled ocean, the applauds of jumping off a cliff into a sacred pool below, the elation of winding roads, the euphoric tastes of the local cuisine, the delight in the conversation of our lives.  FullSizeRender-5
  • This trip with these women was a once in a lifetime, a moment I will carry long into my forever.
  • I discovered so much within myself because of this trip. I’ll never be the same.

Loves,

–Sarah

p.s.  My thanks to those who made this experience possible…

I’m so grateful for my gracious husband.  He is the truth behind my title.

“Love her, but keep her wild.”  –Atticus

His love is freedom.

Without his encouragement and support, I wouldn’t know half the beauty of this world–the way he gives me confidence, the space to connect with a moment that lives inside you.  To him, I owe my gratitude.  I love you, honey.

To my in-laws, Steve and Melanie–there are not deep enough words to express my gratitude, nor the blessing you are to my life.  Emotionally, you are pillars–the most beautiful, generous of them all.  To know you both is happiness, pure jubilee.  I love you both, endlessly.  Thank you for this trip of a lifetime.

To my sister-in-law Jenna and brother Dane, my most sincerest thank you for keeping my beauties safe while I was away, for the late nights while Travis worked, the dinners made and the baths given, for the tuck ins at bedtime.  My deepest respect and admiration for you both–I love you two, endlessly.  (Now give me Liam)

To Belinda and Johnny, thank you for spending the day with the beauties.  I truly covet your efforts to be a solid fixture in my daughters lives, it means the world to me.  You two make me smile, always.  I love you two, endlessly.

I cannot wait for the next adventure…