Melinda Emily Thomas is the author of Sacred Balance: Aligning Body and Spirit through Yoga and the Benedictine Way(Broadleaf Books, 2020). She delights in trees and mountains and flowers and seas. She lives in North Carolina with her son whose room is always a mess and whose smile brings her joy. You can find more of her writing at TheHouseHoldersPath.com
My Own Kind of Magic
It seems so ridiculous and naive to stake my claim on writing books and frame the longing as knowing and knowing as calling and calling as fate. Someday will one day become this day. On that day I won’t enjoy trees any more than I do now. The glint of sunlight on water will not be sweeter nor the smile on my child’s face, nor the cup of tea at hand. A dream arrived will not change the fundamental elements of sorrow or joy. Those are always mine to choose, relying on no greater magic than my own attention.
Sangre de Cristo
New Mexico. And the endless O’Keefe sky dotted by rainbows as the balloons rise at dawn. I shiver and sip hot chocolate. I snap a picture and send it to you with the caption “Mass Ascension” which is sort of a joke between us. Before I left you spotted me in a room and lit up like the desert sun celebrating over the crest of the Sangre de Cristo mountains on whose backs I fulfilled a vision of myself I clung to during those long years of fatigue. On the mesa at night with the sage and ravens and stars my heart started to beat again of its own accord. In the Sangre de Cristo my cup of salvation. I had so much hope there under the hansa yellow Cottonwood on the banks of the Rio Grande. It lasted awhile longer, the way you looked at me over your shoulder or right into my eyes and heart and I felt things I hadn’t known in an age. My ascension. Until the balloons came back to earth. Their colored nylon crumpled in the brush. Baskets empty. Oh to have ridden in the balloon and seen the land outstretched for days. To see how you’d react to my honesty so I could change the words and the outcome. New Mexico was two years ago. The sky. The balloons. The Cottonwood. The parts of myself I located on the mountain. They’re all still here even though you are not. So I go back to the mountain. My own ascent. My own cup of salvation.