Artichoke Flowers and Grown-Up Wings
This morning, I woke up early. The house hummed quietly; light peeked in through gray clouds and white blinds. If I was silent enough, I could just reach my book without waking the others, pull the covers up close, and capture that dreamy, waking-up-moment all to myself.
And then, I read this poem.
by Joseph Hutchison
O heart weighed down by so many wings
Such a simple line; but it woke me up instantly. This was me.
In these years after my PhD, I've done a lot of exploring within my own heart. Who am I? Who do I want to be? Somehow, after more than a decade of focused scientific training, it took a cluster of cancer to open me back up. And, over time, I've gained wings. I have a feeling now that I can do anything - I can write and make pictures and still be a scientist and a great mother and friend. I'm my 8 year old self again. I'm free.
But I'm not 8 anymore, and sometimes grown-up freedom is heavy; options can weigh on a heart. Can I do this, and still be that? Can I make choices, and then change my mind? Where the hell is this path taking me?
I guess the thing to remember about artichokes is this: left to their own devices, the heart develops into something more.