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Something happened when I walked the beach with sunrise coming up behind me. I discovered I was walking along untethered. No cup to carry, no dog to walk. I left all guilt and judgement somewhere, I’m not even sure where, or the precise moment when, I just knew that I was walking in my own footsteps. I carried no memory or their burdens, and that’s a healing that’s been coming for a long time. I felt I might rise up and float into a gull, but not a pelican for they are too shy.

Untethered means my thoughts flow freely and I don’t care if all those envelopes I sent out are destined for the slush pile, it’s all just right.  They’re going where they need to go, and I am breathing who I need to be. Untethered means I get to choose what books to read, to set aside the ones that don’t hold me or devour the ones that take me away; I get to choose a long hot day inside the apartment herding words or go outside and chase breezes. It means I sit no longer on the sand than I want to, even if friends ask me to stay, because when it’s time, it’s time.

Someday I will learn to trust. I will untether myself from that final fear, and I will let you see the rest of me, the one the black dolphin takes down with him in retreating light.

I’m exploring cooled embers and slumbering coals that are getting ready to ignite. How far one can go, untethered. Look how far she’s come already.