Trees at the Edge of the Tundra
I have been silent for hours and hours, contentedly,
staring out the mud-speckled window of a fast, but cautiously moving car
at an immeasurable expanse of Yukon wilderness,
a peaceful monotony interrupted only by the violent bumps in the
weathered road that jolt me temporarily out of the peace I am enjoying.
There is so much space for me to project myself here.
I feel I could unzip my body and release my soul with a whisper
“go now, fly away, be happy”,
as if it was a wounded bird I have nursed back to health
ready to fend for itself and return to the place it belongs in the wild with just a little coaxing
and a willingness, on my part, to let go.
I am learning to breathe a deep kind of breath that reaches to parts
of my lungs never expanded before, going further still into that
freshly hollowed out place where all of the things I said goodbye to used to exist.
It fills up with the breath I choose to breathe, in and out, in and out,
the pain starts to diminish as I allow myself to heal.
Underneath this I hear my heart beating steadily and I follow the beats down
into the realm of my deepest self, realizing there is a wildness there,
a naturally ordered and perfect chaos,
like a thousand fallen trees decaying on the forest floor
encircling those that remain standing. A part of me is still standing,
still upright and deeply rooted, but also inextricably fallen down.
I am beginning to acknowledge desires much more terrible and beautiful
than those I allowed myself to manifest before.
It all began with the choice to walk away from a life that did not resemble me,
a young woman choosing to trust the sometimes unfamiliar company of myself,
willing to endure the loneliness, the ambiguity of change.
Like the last few defiant trees at the edge of the tundra,
I push as far as I can beyond the lines I have drawn for myself
and move courageously into formidable but significant territory,
hoping beyond all hope not only to survive, but to be extraordinarily transformed,
arriving finally at an undivided life, one that resembles me more authentically than ever before.
So I stand, defiant, just like those trees at the edge of the tundra,
in the place where change is certain.