“The lotus flower blooms most beautifully from the deepest and thickest mud.” – Buddhist Proverb
She sat still. She stared out at the waves lapping the shore from the stone bench where we sat higher up the beach. The wind flicked the blonde strands of hair away from her eyes, an icy quality cast over them by the winter chill. I could see she was holding back tears, a flood of them just behind her eyes waiting to burst forth at any moment.
But they never did. She held her gaze on the water and sighed. It had been a long year and there had been a lot of sighing woven in and out of it.
The wind had splotched her cheeks and her skin was naked, imperfect under the hazy sky. She was somehow more beautiful when she was broken.
I squeezed her arm and tried to push every good feeling I’d ever felt out of my hand and onto her flesh, into her pores. I wanted to absorb her pain and run away with it, so she’d never feel it again.
She was strong, like the stone we sat on, but she could not escape this. She hid her thoughts from many, but I felt that I somehow knew them without her even having to speak.
I knew this would not heal overnight. It would all take time, to sink in, to settle, to harden, to fall off, to move on, to grow beyond… and some time had already passed.
She was determined and I believed in her.
In many ways, I felt privileged to be a part of this moment, to witness her struggle, to be a confidant. Life had completely covered her in mud, but some of it had begun to dry. She was taking a new form, shifting differently than before.
It’s a slow churn moving into the unknown. Writhing in the mud, the sun seems far away. But when it hits, oh, she will bloom.