The cold, brisk air, cupping my cheeks; biting my lips... running it's fingers through my hair. A reminder that I need a warm embrace; a cup of hot Joe, or just... a new sweater. A reminder that I am made of flesh, and blood... of pulsing vessels: "I'm alive!" -- my body screams.
Winter is a painful lover I've come to cherish... and there are few things I love more than Winter.
You wouldn't know it by its beginning phases, though. Uncomfortable, and annoying. It often takes me great pains to get used to falling temperatures. The cumbersomeness of putting on so many clothes -- even remembering to do so. Keeping track of the &^%@! scarf and gloves; the hat. Never forget the silly hat. (I just NEVER looked good in hats. A big, fat, rounded head... hats have always been a difficult fit.) And if I had a choice, I'd just as soon avoid embracing Winter...
Oddly enough, this is how I feel about much of my life. There are just a lot of things which I hate the idea of them a lot more so than the actual, concrete form of them; the true reality of them. I'm not sure where this all began... perhaps in my father's off putting "We'll do it next week" remarks.
There were a lot of things which were always put off until "next week..." Oil painting lessons, photography lessons, writing lessons, flying lessons, trips to national parks, concerts, galleries, coupled with a few entire dismissals here and there, for volunteering to help others during national disasters, or the holidays... "We'll do it next week," he'd say. "This week, I'm busy."
But next week always came, and went; and in fact, the 'next week' never actually came at all. Thus, I missed an important lesson of sorts in my childhood, or perhaps, only learned it part-way.
"Courage," you see...
Some of us only see courage as people out there, running into burning buildings, dying in wars, or confronting the faces of evil.
But courage isn't always such a narrow thing. Courage isn't so cut and dried.
There is, a sort of, bolder kind of courage... waiting right here, in your messy living room. A courage that quietly asks "Do you want to be... who you were meant to be? Do you even want to find out? Will you even take the first step? Where are your scarf and mittens?"
As it is, I look around me, and it's a little deflating. Messy room, messy life. I've taken some of these steps before, but who am I (who are any of us, really?) to take them again? I don't just want to keep living in the hear and now, you know... as good and necessary as that is... but also... in the there, and the thereafter.
A Hero in Waiting... is What I am...
Someone who doesn't just say "Just do it," but "Shut up, and just do it." Shuts out the insecurities, the stupid voices, the figures of the past who never bothered to build her confidence... perhaps because they had none to give. A scared... hero in waiting. Scared of big heights, and big changes, deep feelings, and challenges. Scared to express her big voice -- scared of even this very blog.
But I want to do it... Believe it, you are WORTH doing it.
You are worth...
- the oil painting lessons;
- the late blooming college degree;
- the volunteering sessions at the soup kitchen or the hospice;
- the trip to the big art gallery...
- that book, in your heart, wanting to get written;
- the family, and the kids...
- That big love affair NO ONE believed you could be.
You are IT. You are a lot more... than this stupid diabetes disease. You are MAGICAL. You are YOU ... And as the tears just stream down my face, perhaps thinking of my challenges ahead, or perhaps... just realizing I'm the only one to say these things -- to myself, or to you -- I say again...
You are more than Diabetes; You are MAGICAL. You are YOU. You are worth the investment. And no one is more courageous than YOU. Go forth, and pursue.