Connecting with old friends, meeting new ones. Laughing. Staying up late, eyes watering with jaw cracking yawns, but can't go to sleep because the conversation is just that good, and it's been so long. Waking up to see a different slice of the sky than the one you've seen a hundred days in a row before this one. Feeling all through the body: this is so good.
The gospels tell stories of dramatic healing: the lame man who can suddenly walk, the man born blind who can see just a blink later, the lepers whose flesh is made whole. I've envied them, hoping vainly that I will wake up one day and find that suddenly somehow, my heart does not feel like a balloon that has lost its ability to float.
The movement is so gradual that from one day to the next, it's difficult to notice the change and impossible to quantify: to find that on this day, my heart does not hurt so much as it did the day before, or the day before that. Is it because we are somewhere new that I've noticed?
I am someone who has survived something, and that means I don't expect that I will ever experience life in the ways I did before I was pregnant. I imagine the same thing is true of anyone who lives through a thing that they once expected would kill them: life never becomes again what it once was. It is an altered normal, a picture of the world that looks essentially the same, though captured through a completely different lens. And though this will always have at least a tinge of pain to it, I cannot convince myself that this is a bad thing. When you're someone who is healing in small ways, getting to this place is victory and perhaps, no less a miracle than the healing that happens in an instant.