I’m holding a ring in my hand. Actually I’m not really holding it, since to type and hold simultaneously would be awkward, difficult, and likely result in larger than the usual number of typos. But I was holding it a minute ago. It’s large, gold and has a royal blue stone in the center. The ring isn’t mine, yet it’s been in my possession for more than 30 years.
The ring belongs, in my opinion, to someone else. It was given to me once as a symbol. That symbol connected to things. Promises. But life got blacker and I fell down a rabbit hole and drank a potion making me small. The ring grew too large to fit my finger. It wasn’t mine. That life wasn’t mine. I didn’t know what my life was then — not at 17 — but I knew what it couldn’t be. So I ran.
The first thing they tell you in Life School is that running doesn’t help. I missed that day.
It occurred to me, three weeks ago when through a series of events the ring’s owner became a real person who, inexplicably, lives not far from me — what are the odds?? of all the places on this planet! — that the running finally caught up with me. Here were things I haven’t wanted to see in 30 years (yet surfaced continually anyway), and now they were in my back yard.
Today we had lunch.
I tried hard not to have expectations. Expectations can ruin things. I know that much. Expectations either good or bad. Or in between. I tried, actually, not to think about it at all. When I caught myself thinking about it anyway I returned my thoughts to the present. What am I feeling now? Weird and awkward. Like I am 15 again.
This is sounding like there is romance here. I’m not seeing that, no. But there are memories. And a sense of continuation of something that was begun. Not down the path begun once, but a different path. I have met with people from my distant past before and there has been a feeling of warmth, of connection, of familiarity-yet-not.
Lunch was pretty good. Better than expected. It started this morning with a phone call that startled me with recognition of a voice that spoke to me from hours spent in a green-walled kitchen, lying on a black faux-leather sofa, yellow touch-tone phone glued to my ear.
I’m still filled with feelings. A lonely scared child in a woman’s body. Snips of pictures, words, one after another like waves crashing on rocks. What might have been but wasn’t. What was instead.
The message is that there is something to take from this. Something to take and a lot to let go of. I felt the rumblings three weeks ago when I lay awake one night in panic, feeling the volcano trembling underneath. I feel them still, closer and less frightening. I can lay open the doors, gates and walls bolted down so long ago. It’s just a dragon, after all. Nothing to be frightened of.
I channeled once that this relationship, my first, lay the groundwork for all that came after. I saw that, felt bound by it. Now I see it doesn’t have to be that way. Patterns are reversible; plaid turns into paisley. Undo what was done. Create something in its place. This opening, then, is a gift.