It wasn’t until I reached the Shaws grocery store parking lot that I fully understood what I was doing there.
It was Monday night and the rain was falling with the first signs of spring.
Puddle patterns against the cement.
I had told Will I was picking up odds-and-ends for dinner but really I just needed a safe space to unravel.
Pulling off to the side, away from the crowd of shoppers, I shifted the car into park.
Just the drivers seat and I now.
We welcomed the unbearable weight that came with attempting to understand my most recent bout of physical symptoms.
A burning stomach has raged for many consecutive weeks now.
There’s a fire burning in my gut that I have been trying to eradicate, understand and heal since its onset.
At dusk, on this dreary Monday, I intended on laying down my weapon.
With this declaration, my breath was taken.
What was to follow was an insurgence of memories from age 3 to age 30; every ounce of pain I have tried to protect against, eradicate, understand and heal, whizzing through my minds eye like scenes from a movie.
It was all there with me in my Volvo station wagon falling in a flood of tears.
Puddle patterns on my leather seat.
I couldn’t breath now.
The sorrow leaving my system was mammoth and the gratitude entering even more so.
The pain was ready to leave with my acknowledgement that it need not be understood.
It is not mine to hold onto so tightly.
It is not mine at all.
Breath starts to return now.
I want to get out of the car but am drunk on beauty.
This breath TAKING beauty that comes inside surrendering to the pain.
It whispers feel, Kate, feel.
FEEL, KATE, FEEL.
….a week has now passed since my incident in the Shaws grocery store parking lot. This mornings diagnosis of a hiatal hernia explains the intense burning in my stomach. I watch as thoughts scream. They tell me it’s my incessant anxiety and intense desire to heal that has caused such a diagnosis in the first place. They tell me I have wasted my life worrying and for what? There is liberation and deep sadness blurred together in a messy mix of confusion. I lean into the parking lot memory instead of the confusion. My head wants to understand it but my heart knows it is all perfect. Every last messy bit of it. I’m certain it’s my recent decent into more peace that is allowing for the pain to finally leave me.
And so it does.
Burning right the hell up.