I continue to exist in a state of flux, a butterfly locked in the body of a caterpillar, desperate to get out, to travel, to experience, to see, to taste, to touch….. but unable, because I am weighed down by feet that are corrupt.

As I walk, I trip, slip and deviate. I am sure there is a path: a true one, a straight one, a clean one; but mine, as ever, meanders and is slow. Considering I was premature – born early and left to ripen in a casket – I’d have thought I would be more direct, more able to hurry along. But I’ve always resisted speed. My natural rhythm is gentle and slow and I get overwhelmed easily. Why? Why so eager at the beginning and now, part through, so shy?

Fear, that’s why. I’m terrified of age, disease, pain and death, illness, misfortune, loss and hardship, dying as an action in and of itself. Life seems to be all about letting go and losing, saying goodbye. It’s a lot for a body to carry.

Burying my head in meditation, my heart in prayer, I muddle along, grateful for the miracles and patient with the truths. For while there are things that might hurt and things that render me flat, there are also things that lift me up so high, at times I fear I might not ever come back.

by Rebecca L. Atherton

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