It was a long winter. My son weaned in June, but I ate like I was still nursing or pregnant or in my twenties like I was when the baby season began. For six years my body was not my own: stretching, retching, rocking, soothing, and nourishing someone else's. It returned to me, finally, but I don't recognize myself in photos.
It was a long winter. It's Eastertide, but daffodils won't bloom when snow still swirls and they know better. When we tapped trees last year, the weather warmed, and we were boiling syrup thick and sweet by February's end. This year, the maples fill buckets into April.
It was a long winter. The kids were sick, Jim traveled, and I drank coffee for breakfast and forgot to eat proper meals. It was dark, grey and white, and there were days we never changed out of our pajamas. The kids fought, and I yelled, and I ate to cheer myself up, because apparently, I am a person who does that. Maybe I always did, and it's just now catching up.
I want to fit into my clothes without projecting jacked up habits and hang-ups onto my daughter. I want to nourish me again and be nourished. I want to be well.
So I go back to Zumba and remember why I never danced on stage for all my roommates' culture nights in college. I remember, and I smile, because there is no audience here. I jumble steps, and I'm breathing fast, hips swinging, booty shaking, enjoying my own body and my kindness to it.
It was a long winter, but it's Eastertide. Life flows through the trees and in my veins, and I'll not search for the living among the dead.