I courageously take a step into the expanse of my heart. There is so much to explore. I see a series of mountains and valleys, varying in height and depth. I look up and notice the sky. The sun is bright, and the color of the clouds varies from the brightest white to the darkest grey. Right in front of me, I notice a body of water. I walk to the bank and look down, but all I can see is my reflection. I can’t quite see below the surface. I look across the water and spot some wildflowers on the bank across from me. Some are wilted and some stand tall. Seems fitting. At the base of the mountains, I notice trees, some tall and full of bright colored leaves, others hanging on to the last bit of life left in them. Death and life. It all works together to make the expanse more complex and unique. I could spend my life here and never explore every nook and cranny. I slowly turn in a circle to take it all in. It takes my breath away. I feel brave standing here amidst it all. I also feel scared.
I decide to take a walk. As I explore, I pass various caves and trailheads. Just a glance at the matter marking each entrance gives me an idea of what the terrain might be like. Some of the trails and caves seem to be blocked by fallen trees or rocks. I assume that means I am not meant to explore those just yet. One day I will have the strength and energy to navigate those with rough terrain, but not today. Today, I choose a cave that is easily accessible. Above the entrance, there is one word etched into the rock. I know before I even enter what might be awaiting me through the entrance.
I take a deep breath and take my first step inside.
I walk through feeling scared, but curious. I notice something on the wall ahead of me. As I get closer, the image becomes more clear. I realize what it is and I stop, trying to decide if I have the courage to move any closer. I do. I am ready. I walk right up to the scene that has been painted on the rock wall. It is a memory I can easily recall. I gently run my hand along the painted lines, taking it all in. I feel a faint smile come to my face, then the warmth of tears as they fill my eyes. The tears linger on the brink of my lower eyelid for a moment before a couple escape slowly down my cheeks.
Suddenly, my body starts to feel hot with anger and the tears quickly dry. The anger boils over in a loud scream as I pound my palms against the rock wall. I hear my anger echo through the cave. Then, as my hands stop and come to rest on the rock, my forehead slowly comes to rest on the rock, too. The hurt that fueled the anger now resumes as tears. I lean against the wall, turning my back to the scene. The tears weigh heavy as I find myself sliding down the wall until I find the ground. I sit there, face in my palms, crying, feeling every ounce of hurt, pain, and sadness held in that memory.
I have no idea how much time has gone by when I finally decide to stand up. I turn back around toward the scene painted on the wall. I slowly walk towards it and let my hand rest on the little girl, a younger version of me. I smile at her, appreciating her strength. I look farther into the cave, trying to decide if I should go on. I decide this is as far as I can go today and that is okay. I will come back another time to continue exploring this expanse of my heart. I take one last look and gently pat the wall to mark this work.
I find my way back to the entrance of the cave. As I step out, the sunshine feels good on my face as it dries my cheeks. I walk back to the water and take a seat on the bank. Looking around, I am reminded why I keep coming back to this place, the expanse of my heart. It is such a beautifully sacred place, and it is all mine to explore. From the bank, I notice my reflection in the water. I look curiously, because something seems different. I believe I can see myself more clearly.
Morgan Green believes in the power and sacredness of women communing with one another. As a therapist, she is honored to walk alongside women from various seasons of life. She can often be found covered in flour and enjoying a nice cup of tea. Morgan and her husband, Mark, enjoy a beautiful life together in Georgia.
Morgan, I appreciate that you name how you feel both scared and curious as you engage in this heart work…what courage to choose to explore despite the fear. Perhaps my favorite line is when you name “It is such a beautifully sacred place, and it is all mine to explore.” Wow, this feels so deeply honoring of your heart, your stories, your hurts, your young places, and your opportunity to enter into all of this (and more) with curiosity and care. Thanks for inviting us to journey along with you through your vivid, evocative writing.