In between the sheets…

I picked up a long forgotten book, tinged with gray from quiet neglect.  The theme was simple, about a lovable rabbit, who also knew the feeling of desertion.  I longed for an undemanding moment, and found my favorite childhood book fitting for that instant.  I skimmed the first few pages, when life is delightful and effortless for this little fluff of fur.  The book urges me on, gently opening it’s brittle binding, until the sheets of worn paper flutter open to this:  “It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.” Laying transparently in between these aptly timed words, were pressed flowers.  It brought me back to a place when joy was effortless.  The colors were faded, but showed an eager will to preserve the moment.  I realized with sudden clarity, that life wouldn’t unload a heap of uncomplicated delight immediately.  It comes unpredictably, in a form that whisks away the moment at hand.  I felt Real, in every sense.  As a new mother, my life was wedged in between exhaustion, the sweetest first smile and a pair of size 4 maternity jeans.  The size 4 somehow comforted my disappointment at the thought of wearing clothes meant for my body last month.

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