Writing is my passion and my saving grace, as I discovered in 2014. ♥
Life can change in an instant. Chances are, if you’re 20 years or older, you know this truth. Life, in its majestic wonder, can sometimes be unkind with its paths of uncertainty and forced goodbyes. In the blink of an eye, all that was once familiar, secure, and steady is now out of reach. No misdeeds necessary. No signature required. The current suddenly shifts, setting us adrift in uncharted waters with no map or plan of rescue.
August 30th marked 25 years since the car accident that forever changed my life. I sustained a spinal cord injury returning home after a fun weekend away with friends. I was 18 years old and just four days shy of starting University. Life changed in an instant. Thankfully, the driver and other two passengers were okay. I fractured two vertebrae in my neck (C5 & C6) and lost all movement and sensation from my neck down. Instead of University, I spent the next nine months in the hospital and rehabilitation centre. It was tough, and looking back on that time is rather surreal. I fought every day to regain movement and independence I once took for granted. Moving my toe was indeed cause for celebration. It was hope – my heart’s currency. The doctors were cautious and said I probably wouldn’t walk again. I know they meant well, after all, few people did recover, but I did walk away from that rehabilitation centre. The injury did not leave me without challenges, though. I never regained full mobility. I require a crutch to walk and always will, but it was a victory considering the odds against it.
The sudden loss of my mom in 1997 nearly broke me. She was only 50 when she died, and I miss her every day. Lives changed in an instant.
I’ve had the privilege of working in the counselling field for approximately 15 years. I’ve seen lives change in an instant, and over time I absorbed the loss too. But I’ve also witnessed the remarkable power of the human spirit.
Loss, in any form, is painful (family, friends, health, mobility, love…). We know the agony of it because we live and love deeply. Simply put…if it doesn’t hurt, it probably didn’t matter. I cried many tears for the losses in my life. It was never a burden, but a true testament to the joy and love that existed. I wouldn’t change the course because of the outcome. It was worth it.
Today, I write this with a smile and a grateful heart because my journey has been a remarkable one, an incredible voyage of self-discovery. I tell you this because maybe you can relate and perhaps you will consider yours in the same light. Here you are … and hopefully you are smiling too. We survived the swift current, rocky shores, and relentless winds. Some wounds are cloaked by time, other scars claim a place on our skin. Despite it all, we are here, my friends. We are still here.
I’ve come to understand that life is a continuous journey of becoming. If we anchor ourselves to yesterday, we are bound to miss the beauty that lies before us. And there is so much beauty. Remarkable things transpire from this awareness and acceptance. But to begin we must let go. Let go of the fear of failure, the fear of rejection, the fear of the unknown. Fear claims too many dreams; and weary hearts make easy prey.
It’s in this light that I penned my first poem. I let go.
Without knowing it, my journey as a writer actually began 25 years ago when the current shifted … it wasn’t until 22 years later, however, that I discovered its magnificent power. Writing my first poem ignited the light that guided me home.
Writing is my saving grace. Through poetry and verse, I aspire to write stories that are universal in truth, and, hopefully, resonate in a way that is cathartic and soothing. I hope we can travel back with welcomed reflection, find solace and wisdom in the present, and feel inspired for the journey that lies before us.
In 2015, I stepped miles outside of my comfort zone and published my first book of poetry, The Heart’s Journey Home. Again, I let go. The Heart’s Journey Home is a collection of poems celebrating the fragility and resiliency of our hearts.
In July 2017, I published my second collection of poems, The Heart’s Lullaby. The Heart’s Lullaby is a candid portrayal of love in all its splendor and pain. I honoured my soul’s quest to delve deeper and explore/translate the intricate beauty that lies within our hearts. Again, I let go.
My journey has taught me that there really are no certainties in life. Every step is one of faith. A compilation of the trials we’ve overcome and the desire to carry on, and, in some cases, begin again. So, let’s embrace the journey, love deeply, and hold no burden of regret when night settles in.
Be bold, be brave, and just breathe … let’s release our fears into the custody of the wind.
And … let go.