Senses begin to awaken
A whisper of warm air brushes my cheek and birds sing in celebration, I taste the tang of salt on the air and, opening my eyes I see the ocean spread before me like an endless plain.
I turn and see the land swelling gently like a soft, green, crumpled duvet.
The breeze carries the scent of woodland flowers and my heart feels at peace.
I sit for a while under the shade of an ancient oak tree and breath deeply and slowly as my mind slips into a meditative state.
I am aware, as though reading from a book, that I have suffered and that I have fought hard to keep my sanity. I know that I bear many invisible scars, memories of battles won and lost, conflict created and avoided, chances taken, chances missed. The principals, no longer performing, parade before me allowing me to see, often for the first time, the people beneath the greasepaint.
The parents who dominated, expected and watched now stripped of their masks revealing anxious, care worn faces.
The siblings no longer competing and squabbling show themselves as strong yet loving.
Partners, not too many and each with memories. Stripped of their costume and role they are a diverse group I am the only common denominator
My children in their roles as tormentors, leeches and succubi where played by young people in need of love and security, good people with good moral sense and hearts brim full of love.
Colleagues pass me too, strange that without their trappings, their uniforms, they seem a lot like me. They worry, they struggle and they hide their insecurities.
A touch, gentle on my cheek, wakes me and I look up into the smiling face of my beloved. A tear falls and splashes on my face, her hand grips mine. I am alive, I have a chance, a new beginning.