September 26, 2014
I take a deep breath, hold it in for a second or three and let it slowly out, a balloon collapsing inside me. I turn the corners of my mouth upwards in a smile. I suppose it looks like a smile. The knot in my solar plexus stops tightening.
I nudge myself. Okay, okay—yes, the sun is shining through the dining-room windows lighting up the giant jade and the spider plant and all the other green growing things that share this space with me. The prayer plant has opened wide and turned itself toward that light. The living-room has filled up with a rosy glow and through the windows there I see the maples flaming across the street.
Deep breath in, hold, slowly exhale. The knot inside loosens a bit. I turn the corners of my mouth upwards again as I notice they have slipped back into a tight-lipped line, matching the tightness in my eyes. Softening, softening.
I take a long pull on my green smoothie. I taste apple and mango and banana. It is thick and sweet and dark green with spinach and kale and chard and powdered greens. Next to me is another glass filled with cool water. I hear the shower running in the bathroom. I hear the dishwasher swashing in the kitchen. I think of women who are trudging blocks or miles this morning to fill a dirty bucket with water to bring home to their children so they can have a little to drink, a little with which to cook their meal, a little in which to wash.
Unpaid bills stare at me from across the desk. There is no money today with which to pay them.
I inhale the crisp autumn air of early morning. I exhale the last of the knot in my gut.
I am cutting brilliant chrysanthemums from my garden.
My eyes are smiling.