I lean forward in my seat, watching the rain fall in waves toward our windshield. I’m not sure if it’s the direction of the rain or the fact that my husband has his brights on, but for a brief moment it looks as if we’re driving through stars. I reach out and grab his hand and relax against the back of my seat. It’s been a good weekend. Refreshing - even healing in a way. I can’t think about what waits for us back home - not yet - and so for now, I close my eyes and listen to the music.
Blackbird singing in the dead of night...take these broken wings and learn to fly....
I haven’t told anyone, but this song is one I hold close for my future daughter. I see us :: me rocking her, her tiny fingers gripping my shirt, me softly singing in her ear these words.
You were always waiting for this moment to arise.
A loose tear escapes and makes it way down my cheek. I take a deep breath and let it out slow. I know what I need to do, know what my therapist and I spoke about earlier in the week. The anger isn’t as potent now, but he’s always there, lurking under the surface. I turn toward Russ.
“I think I need you to help me find a spot where I can scream. No one around - just us.” There’s no hesitation with his response.
“How about here?”
I look around, the fear lapping at the waves of emotion in my belly. He continues, trying to convince me.
“There’s no one here. Historical markers are all up and down this road...”
I interrupt, “but, I don’t want to worry anyone.”
“Oh you won’t. Not here.”
Later, I’ll laugh at my response. Later, I’ll categorize it as the Good Girl protesting - she’s not one to ruffle feathers or be seen and so when I rebel and demand attention, she usually finds a way to stuff it deep.
At that moment, I agree. I think I already knew it needed to be tonight.
It doesn’t take long for us to pull over. The rain has stopped, if only for a moment. Lightning dances across the sky and I drink in the dark. It’s hypnotic in a way. I’m barefoot on the ground, feeling myself center with the earth. Russ is with me, reading the sign of limestone and governmental feuds that marked this spot in history. I turn around and face the sky. There’s no wind. No sound. Only the distant rumble of thunder. I hesitate.
And then, without any thought, I feel myself breathing in the air and letting out a scream. My hands clenched by my sides, my eyes closed, I imagine I look a little like a two-year old throwing a tantrum. My scream echoes across the valley and when it dies, there’s silence. Indignation rises up within me. Just a small spark - but enough for me to grab it and think of everything I’ve ever kept inside.
Don’t you hear me?! I think. Don’t you want to respond?! I’m here - screaming!
I breathe in again - this time louder. More intense. When I’m done, my breath is heavy and I feel my nails digging into my palms.
Out of nowhere, a gust of wind circles around us. It sounds almost like someone running up to meet us and rustling the leaves of the trees behind me in the process. I jerk around to face the noise, noticing out of the corner of my eye my husband has done the same. We stand there for a few seconds - staring. The wind is gone. There’s silence again - except for the crickets and a distant howl of a dog.
I hear the Voice deep in my bones. “I’m here. I hear. I’m not scared or disappointed. I see your anger and join with you.”
I start crying then - my hands flying up to my face to hide the emotion. It’s all a little unnerving. I feel vulnerable - seen. Russ is there to pick up the pieces, holding me close and kissing the crown of my head. I lean against his chest, letting the tears fall. I pull away after a few moments, knowing I need to scream once more. He walks away, giving me my space, and I look back toward the sky.
This time, my thoughts are elsewhere. This time, my screams are directed toward humans. This time, it takes awhile for the scream to die, and when it does, I’m left with a scratchy throat and raw emotions. I think of my anger inside as a large glacier. Turning toward the car, leaning in for a brief hug and kiss, I know this moment has served as an ice pick. I feel shattered.