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Breathe Again



I woke early this morning eager to start the day.  I usually do.  I padded into the kitchen, poured myself a cup of tea, and stared out the window.  A downy blanket of snow covered the world outside my window, illuminated by waning silver moonlight.  I thought how perfect the forest appeared after a snowstorm - pristine and glistening - like a glitter-dusted fairy world.

I felt at peace.  I anticipated the day stretching before me with poetic happiness.  I would take a brisk walk in the snow.  I would have another cup of tea.  I would settle down at my computer and create worlds with my words. 

Fate had other designs, apparently. 

A few ill-spoken words by thoughtless family members and I felt my happiness slip away.  I looked at world beyond my window through altered eyes.  The icy forest seemed somehow transformed - forbidding and bleak.

It's amazing what a few harsh words can do to a tender heart, isn't it?  Lacerating a soul.

Ensconced in a blue mood, I did what all girls do when they're down - I cued up an impressive playlist of sad songs.  Fergie's Big Girls Don't Cry and the Pretender's I'll Stand By You are two of my favorites hankie-shredding tunes.  I had just sniffed my way through Gloria Estefan's album Cut's Both Ways when I came to an old favorite:  Toni Braxton's Breathe Again.

I heard Toni's silky voice and was transported to a time when my heart was young and unburdened by disillusionment.  A time when the mere thought of love caused my breath to catch in my throat. 

If I never feel you in my arms again,
If I never feel your tender kiss again,
If I never hear I love you now and then,
Will I never make love to you once again?
Please understand, if love ends,
Then I promise you, I promise you that,
That I shall never breathe again,
Breathe again.

Listening to Toni's soulful voice, I thought about the fleeting nature of love.  It's a lot like a snowstorm.  It rolls into your life suddenly, blankets your world in beauty, leaves you breathless over its brilliance.  And then something happens to alter the climate - a wind shifts cruelly - and the fairy world we once beheld appears bleak and forbidding. 

The love that once had you holding your breath drifts out of your reach and you are left feeling hollow, longing for those magical, breathless days.  Those distant days when your heart had not yet been lacerated by thoughtless words and burdened by unrealized dreams.

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