I got up early this morning to run (which sounds a lot cooler than ” jog at a pace barely faster than walking”). As I stepped out onto the porch, my breath fogged in the cool air. The world was still, no wind to shake the trees. The sun was lifting herself up out of bed, stretching a morning stretch before rising to her perch in the sky. The wheat fields aglow with a solar kiss, hints of orange and pink caressing the tips of the stalks.
I decided to own today.
Today, I will be happy by choice, not by chance.
Today was the first day of school for students (not for my class, mind you. Kindergarten begins later). I busied myself with prep work. I snuck out to greet the grade one students, my guys from last year. Suddenly they’ve all grown so tall and important, professionally carrying notebooks and pencil cases to class, stopping for sincere hugs in the halls. I drank a heavenly iced chai on my coffee break, trying not to covet the blazing sunshine outside.
At lunch, I contentedly ate my salad, discussed new enrollments and even chatted comfortably with ‘the coworker‘. The lunch break neared it’s end, teachers woefully gathered themselves to head back to excited students. One staff member announced that a certain student wouldn’t be present for a few days because her mother was pregnant and just lost the baby.
Everyone looked at me.
I looked at my food.
A crowd of people stare at me at these words, ‘lost the baby’. They turn their heads to the wounded woman in the room, whose scars have been public. They glance awkwardly at the scathed soul whose tears have fallen, hot and anguished, behind closed doors in this very building. They watch the reaction of the burdened almost-mother whose absence in June is remembered at the sight of the absence of a baby bump.
I am the welted and wounded soul. I am the one with scraped skin and bruises, with careful words and a cautious smile. I am the one whose scars show a violent crimson red on my skin.
But I will not break on cue this time. I will not bleed today.
Today, I embraced the morning sun, I felt cool air seeping into my lungs and my cheeks. I absorbed the dawn with a smile and centered myself within myself. Today, I held the morning in my palms and had the strength to make a choice: happiness, today.
Who knows about tomorrow, but today is mine.