I hardly recognize how often I do it. Hold my breath, wait for the feeling of fear to pass, worry to skitter through, even a feeling to take hold. Just how much of my day goes by, I wonder, pushing through to the next thing without expelling waiting air from my lungs?

And I don’t realize how desperately I need the full in and out until he wraps me in his arms. Or I lie on the big trampoline and watch the moving sky with her, whispy hair tickling the tender parts of my arm.

We pick berries, sun breaking through low morning clouds, and they push each other on the tire swing, and my friend and I talk of marriage, togetherness and the ins and outs of life. I squeeze blue frilly-bottomed berries into pint containers and notice the variation of color, and I can’t help but breathe. The light pink, the pale plum and blue to deepest indigo.

I fully inhale and exhale at how colors of the sunrise brush against our hands right here, sun and heaven touching round fruit.

I pick the berries and drop them in the box because I can’t keep hold in too-small hands, and it’s like the way I breathe out and remember that all the cupped taking in requires a letting go.

I cannot contain it all. I cannot keep them safe. I cannot keep us locked away from risk and the messy, brutal parts of life.

I cannot even recall all the glorious sky touching down moments, though I will never forget last week when she said the clouds looked just like curdled milk. Nor the morning I told my deepest scariest fears, all locked up inside, let them go in wavering breath, exhaling with never before formed words, tears running down to my lips.


Joining this morning with the Five Minute Friday community of brave (and sometimes still scared) writers at Lisa-Jo Baker‘s place where we create safety for one another and the spilling of words. We’d love to have you join us. Today’s prompt: EXHALE.

Five Minute Friday

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