For Now, My Heart Is Still


I am standing in a field of wildflowers with the sun shining down on my freckled face, the same face you take in your hands, staring at the horizon with the eyes you call beautiful. The sky is as blue as my ripped denim shorts, and my hands play with the frayed edges nervously. I’m waiting. Part of me is waiting for you to show up and take it all in with me: the scene, the beauty, me. The other part of me can’t help but focus on the torrent of clouds that seems to threaten all the beauty in this place, even though they are motionless in the corner of my eye. I can tell it’s raining in that place that is a few dozen miles away while I am bathed in the sunshine. Why does part of me want to be there?

I want to feel the rain coursing down my soft, pallid skin. My t-shirt longs to be soaked through, leaving me cold and shaking in the fields of dewy grass. Breathing in, I swear I can smell the rain. The ground underneath me shakes with indiscernible thunder, and the warmth of the sun on my face fails to produce the quickening of my pulse and gasp in my throat that would be elicited by strikes of lightning. I raise up my arms and let the wind take me far away from this place, into the storm. Did I create this? Did I bring about a storm in my mind when things got too good, too sunny, too…perfect? The wind howls a “yes” in my ears as I rise above the dreamy ground and into the nightmare that is this storm. The colors are duller, but the emotions are wilder, and I laugh into the rain as my world lights on fire.

The storm is passionate, violently jolting me around and waking me up in a way that shows me just how numb I had become. It brings chaos and destruction and hunger like I have never known before. I am reborn. The water cascades down my electrified skin and every single fiber of my being is captivated. The torrent spins as I travel inward, part of me wondering where you are and the other part asking me why I stayed waiting for so long. Like water washing away my sins, I am new in the rain. I am radiant; this world doesn’t need a sun so long as it has me.

The strikes of lightning ignite the grassy fields, with the flames gathering around my being in cyclonic clouds of ash. Suddenly, I can’t breathe. I am suffocating in the land I once knew as freedom. The rain comes down in surges, promising to poke holes in my delicate skin and tear me apart. How can something that made me feel so new, so unshakably powerful, threaten to destroy my very being? With a deafening boom of thunder, I hit the ground, jolting me into the very eye of the storm that brought about my rebirth. In the eye, there is silence. The leaves don’t shake, making it very clear that I do. The ground is warm and inviting, so I walk across to a nearby hill to catch my breath. When I reach the top, there you are, warm like the sun I once took for granted. You are the peace I think I don’t need. You are the grassy fields that promise life and stability. You’ve weathered the storms I too often find myself in, yet it never scares you away. The fields are bountiful. The grass and vines envelope me and whisper the truths I need to hear, unlike the wind whispering the lies and tantalizing secrets of the storms. In this moment, I could sit with you forever, giving up my wild for a moment of peace. I let you pull me closer, sinking into the peaceful surrender of being like the roots of the resilient oaks that sink into the ground in search of the nutrients they require for survival and prosperity, knowing in my heart that I will call to the winds will whisk me away again. But for now, there are fields. For now, there is peace. For now, my heart is still.