“I Can See Clearly Now,” by Johnny Nash is playing in Spotify right now – I had forgotten until this moment how much I absolutely love this song. Ever since I was my Nana’s “itsy-bitsy” child, I have favored this particular song over every other… Now that I am older, I completely understand how this song has always fit me so well, even before I was smart enough to know why… I loved it.
My soul has always had a strong grasp on the feeling of nostalgia: Whether thinking about my childhood, great loves past or even just yesterday when I nearly cried from perfect laughter while watching my baby girl crawl naked in the rain. As if I was born a carefree romantic in the depths of my soul, everything about me is best understood through a song like this, and through all the ways it made me feel back then and still makes me feel today.
Under my skin still exists the mark of every single one of my yesterdays lived; I wear these stains proudly, with little regret, and with great reverence for what each season of my life has taught me.
When I was a child, I was always quite gangly – a tomboy and far from physically ideal even then – with big teeth, freckles, and skinny legs that often ached from continuous growth spurts. I could build tree forts with as much excitement and better skill as any boy in our neighborhood, and I preferred a garden with cool dirt to dig in than a doll or Barbie house. Growing up this way lends itself wonderfully to who I am now: More feminine than I have ever been, but still able to walk barefoot on gravel and rarely flinch from a sharp rock under foot.
More than the façade of a young girl, internally I was always daydreaming. Always plotting my escape out into a big wide world where I would fall in love with a poet, and travel to exotic lands to dance with natives and live in harmony with nature. A memory as vivid today as if I still dwell there is one of me twirling on a swing in our backyard in the Heights – I would stare up into the leaves of the tree and almost well up with tears, asking God to help me understand the world in all her mystery. How I could be so integrated with concern for the world at such a young age, I still do not know, but I do know with certainty that I have always been highly emotional, and sought to comprehend so much more than I was capable of then.
There is so much more I had hoped and thought I would have done by this point in my life, but I do not regret the paths I have walked… Motherhood came true for me because of my choices… Texas happened because of my decision to leave my home and venture off into our beautiful America.
As a child, this is not at all the life I imagined for myself – listening to this song brings back the emotions linked to certain pivotal points in time when I dreamed [by now] I would be living in Egypt unearthing artifacts with a soft boar-hair brush. Never did I imagine motherhood with two precious daughters, two divorces, and losing my mother at 39. That I would be a college student at the age of 28 still indefinite about a career path, and seemingly incapable of finishing the last chapters of a book I have been writing for seven years…
I never imagined I would be lonely like I am at times because I always believed I would find my one true love and we would walk through this life hand-in-hand, solving mysteries together, living on passion, coffee, and yet another book devoured in two days while flying to Spain. Romance has always been what I seek first, and I guess this is partly to blame for how I have ended up here, but I do not ever want to stop believing in love; two souls connecting deeply despite society painting a picture of me as a woman whom cannot sustain it.
Taking a trip through this avenue of me would not have happened tonight if not for that song. . .
“I can see clearly now, the rain is gone, I can see all obstacles in my way.
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind…”
These words were written from someone whom must have had a romantic, wounded yet resilient heart like mine.
Overcoming obstacles and accepting there will be more to come. Loving the simplistic beauty of a blue sky (which, perhaps, because I grew up in Washington I appreciate this more than others…?)
“I think I can make it now, the pain is gone.
All of the bad feelings have disappeared,
Here is that rainbow I’ve been praying for…”
What is so wonderful about time is that I am rather in love with the days I have lived with great intensity, and I realize how beautifully made I am by God who built me to love, live, and persevere the way I have. I feel that by taking a pause to respect the passage of time and all it has taught me makes me better appreciative of the present, and more hopeful of the future.
Heavy hardship, countless tears, and boisterous laughter dot the pages of my history. A chaotic childhood with wonderful familial conversation that always centered five siblings and two parents back on track. This woman has a peace-seeking yet wandering soul with the capacity for pure love even after knowing too many bitter endings, and I believe… No matter what comes, even when the rain pours overhead, to my passionate writer’s spirit, it will always eventually become…
“A bright, bright sunshiny day.”