It is terrible to forget.
And yet I have.
For clusters of months, mounting to a year.
Until I found my way, one Sunday, to Cedar Lake Park, the place that had held me in the storm of my soul’s transition into the life I never wanted, didn’t know I’d need.
I took the wrong exit off the highway like so many times before; I can never remember which one it is, but I don’t mind the turnaround. I am proud that I am now able to maneuver the back roads and find my way to the park’s swan-necked entrance.
It isn’t big, but is sizable enough to find a spot to myself, down twisted gravel lanes where my tires spray pebbles, and straight to the edge of the water’s bank, slant in the grass to the same bench I like to spread my arms and legs.
As soon as I settle on my wood bench, clouds roll over the sun, and when the breeze swings, the coolness catches my skin.
There are many people dotting the lines of the lake, throwing fishing lines into the water. It’s mid-afternoon, not an ideal time to cast, but I guess there’s simply something cathartic about creating another wrinkle in the current.
I have forgotten the quiet, the crescent of trees, call of birds, spread of sky. Forgotten the sound of my own heart when it is breathing. Forgotten what it’s like to let go and surrender up my life. To give it away, to gain it back.
There are people all around me, coming and going, and though I am by myself, I do not feel alone.
A bullfrog throbs its throat and echoes across the wind, finds my ears. There is no need to fear what is not known; this life is meant for exploration, welcome. Mystery discovered and changed into new life unfathomed. Every single piece should be treated as a pleasure and not a puzzle. Let it all go, slip into nothing, transform everything.
It feels good to write for me, because it pleases my soul and not to beat my mind up in pressure to fill a page, some self-prophesied destiny. I had forgotten how it felt to just be, wrapped up in the land, quiet and unhurried, and let the words come, rather than crash about and jam wrong ones together, break their brittle hands.
I had forgotten how good it feels for me to rest, to receive what is necessary for me to remember. In a way, I have forgotten to remember. All that once I thought I lost, now, found once more.
Dear God, let this day last forever.
Sometimes, I even forget such a prayer.
Do not let this go.
I will spend my heartbeats remembering, tell my spirit to never forget the way it moves most alive when it is immersed in simple wonders marked by the earth, loosened time.
Only an hour has passed, but it disguised itself as an eternity. It is good to be myself, bare, sacred. My true, deep, unhidden being. And when I return to the ways of life around me, there is a wiseness around my eyes, clear and soft. And in a way, I have shifted into newness with hope ballooning strong within, still the same, always evolved.