My Awakening

She took my hand and placed it over her heart, and I felt its warm, persistent beat on my palm. It seemed as if life itself were calling me into something grand and eternal and mystifying—as if I were part of something beyond my control, as if love were an endless, flowing stream, clear and fresh and clean, and I were drawn helpless in its irreversible tide. And on that crisp, cold morning as the sun crested over the eastern mountain range, and my feet were scrubbed pink, and my uncorseted breasts pressed against my mother’s warmth, I felt the curious, simultaneous mystery of overwhelming sadness and boundless joy. I had no words, but in that moment I felt pure and clean and holy.

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