I struggle to embrace that being a woman comes with wildly vacillating, often arbitrary, emotions. From one moment to the next, I don't know who I'm going to be, what I'm going to want, or how long it's going to last. Friday, I woke up chipper as hell, and by Saturday I was holding back tears, feeling disconnected from the rest of humanity, with no real interest in doing anything other than sinking into it. Sunday was more of the same, and my husband graciously, and for his own sanity, removed me from the house to go do whatever it was that I needed to. So, here I sit, at the top of a damn butte, again, perched on a craggy rock, with a lizard and a chipmunk for company, watching the river below, which somehow exists as a force gentle and fierce, all at once, always pushing forward.
There is immeasurable power to be found in running uphill on a dusty trail, toes clinging to unearthed stones to propel your weight forward, simultaneously preventing falling, the sound of your own breath casting out all other noises, and then back down, each pounding step feeling like your bones are reverberating within your skin. It's hard, and I am conscious of my strength when doing it.
In these moments, when the rest of the world seems to be at arm's length, and I feel hollow, as if a subtle wind could blow me away, pushing myself to experience my own power and connection to the ground beneath my feet pulls me back in, out of the illusion that is solitude.
In my younger years, when I could indulge the melancholy, I'd have confined myself to the bedroom, and cried the tears until they could come no more, emerging not a second sooner, puffy eyed and exhausted, but relieved.
Now, with three children to tend to, I have to work the intensity out in other ways, patiently waiting for my moment of release, while trying to own the unpredictability of my womanhood, like the river, gentle yet fierce, but never stopping.
As I make my way to the base of the butte, a literal and figurative return to reality, I descend to the river, where a swan serenely glides through the water, a first for me. I look up the symbolism of the Swan. It represents awakening the power of the self, finding balance, and having grace while doing so. I walk on the path beside her, trying to envelop myself in those qualities, invigorated by the world around me, breeze lifting instead of threatening me, realizing that my vacillating emotions are strengths, the soul rebalancing. I'll try to recall this sensation for the inevitable day that I wake with intensity again, gliding through it, and embracing the beauty of the depth therein.