It was going to be a big disco party. Thumping music, strings of lights, over-heated faces that laughed at the absurdity of it all...we were going to ring it in with crazy and it was going to be the best birthday ever. But, things don't always work out the way we plan them to and so, sometimes, we must go with what is.
I pulled the strings tighter, gathered up those closest and proceeded to celebrate with those who have known me always.
First, it was the sisters. For two of us, the years that stretch between us could very well be a generation... And between me and the middle sister, there stretches a mirrored lake, into which we have both gazed and seen reflections that criss-cross and melt one into the other until it's hard to know who is who. These are the ones that came first. And it was in their presence that I wrapped myself and drank in their love and devotion and stories. Always, there are the stories... As the hours stretched wide, so did our thoughts and we asked questions we don't always ask and we listened to voices that sang new songs in our ears and we marveled at how love can chink away hardness. In the wee hours of the new day, when the sky gets darker before it slips into its new form, I saw the color slip out like a puddle.
The second wave came the next day. Over the river and threw the woods they traveled and they tumbled out of the car with arms bursting and hearts leaking and I couldn't stop smiling. We settled around the kitchen table because that is where love is born again and we smiled at all we had in each other. And as the room spun crazy drunk with goodness and the laughter swelled and lifted like a fantastical balloon, I marveled that I was created out of this. This, all of this, was poured into me, over and over. It always had been.
Balking the heat, we sat outside in a circle, like they did in the old days. We sipped cold drinks and talked of tragedy and triumph and all the time, the sun dripped golden on our heads. We unwrapped the gift of time and found that it had new things to share with us and we learned that to open ourselves to each other only makes us richer.
And the hours stretched and I knew time was passing and I wanted to stop the spinning and hang suspended, like a mobile, orbiting and turning, over and over, in the same space. The colors were running, slipping out of my hands and I wanted to gather them all in and keep painting.
Until they started to glow. The colors.
It took the dark of night, the inky blackness that obscures all vision, in order to see them. We all had bits and pieces of rainbow light, in our hands and around our necks, glowing and burning and turning our skin new shades. And then the colors started dancing. To a crazy music we sang out loud, chanted even, these rainbow night birds took flight.
And as they swirled and swooped and bent my understanding of how things should be into acceptance of how things are, I couldn't stop laughing. Because all of these odd birds, with their glowing and burning colors, and their ability to take new shapes...all of them, are my flock.
And it was with these rainbow birds that I had my dance party.
Joining L.L. Barkat