People say that cats have nine lives. Judging from my own childhood barn-bred cats living close to two decades, this could very well be true. One of the cats–Curry–was a fighter. He’d come home with whole tufts of hair just gone from his hide and one eye swollen shut. The problem was, we never could speak cat and he never mastered English, so none of us ever got the details. We could only surmise that whoever was on the other end of that fight looked either the same or worse, but Curry always managed to come home for his dinner, lucky bruiser.
I say this, because I think about all of the seasons I’ve already lived. And I’m still young. I mean, I have many more to go, God willing. I am just now in this whole new BEGINNING. It’s motherhood, and it’s just about swallowed me whole. It’s okay; I walked into the jaws of it willingly. I knew it’d be everything for a while–I knew it’d also change my heart forever. I knew my body would no longer only belong to myself and TJ. I just didn’t know how all this would feel, of course. And I am still learning to balance life with the ebb and flow of motherhood. I’m doing alright, too. I am a trapeze artist, and most of the time these days, I don’t even glance down at the net anymore. Mondays come and they’re not so scary. The days have shape and vibrance again and the nights are distinguished from the days by that gift God gave to humanity called sleep.
But this wasn’t always my life.
Just today I looked ahead of me while walking in Cambridge and my heart reacted a little because the person in front of me had a back that looked just like the back of someone I used to know very well. At the time we were close, I never could have imagined NOT being close; but life doesn’t always take into consideration our predictions. There’s no inside trading to be done when it comes to tomorrow. And, I don’t know–do you ever just marvel at how much life can change and yet still remain exactly what it has always been? At least in title? It is always, irrefutably MY LIFE.
But I’ve had so many of them, already.
I’ve had at least nine, so there, kitty cats of the world.
(But I’ve never come home with tufts of fur missing and one eye swollen shut, so I defer to you there, kitty cats of the world.)
And the thing is, I remain grateful for all these lives I’ve had.
I am better for them.
I am here because of them.
I am humbled and challenged by them.
I was hurt by them and I am healed by them.