fully alive

This post was originally written on January 19th, almost a year ago, and on the day before I quit drinking. The experience described in this post was a catalyst for change in my life. Because it's true, what are we here for, if not to feel fully alive? To take risks and let go...to strive and overcome...to find ourselves wrapped up in the journey while we tell our truths and help each other. The moments with my boys in this post were just the taste I needed of all of that, and I'm so grateful.


We laughed until our cheeks hurt.

We burned down that hill like gravity itself with our coats and mittens crackling under the cold and we just couldn't stop laughing.

We bounced and spun and grabbed tightly to each other. We even face planted once, spilling off the sled in a pile, me on top of Miles on top of Asher. Poof! and then a split second of silence, the kind that holds a mother's breath while she waits to see if it will be the laugh or the cry.

It was the laugh that came. The very best kind of uncontrollable belly laugh, from both of my beautiful boys. A laugh that said I cannot believe that just happened it was so terrifying and so great.

We lay there, all three of us propped up on our elbows, laughing too hard to get up and feeling the ice cold of snow pushing through our layers. We looked at each other through tears brought on by laughing in the cold. We had done this wild and crazy thing on the biggest hill in the state park and then crashed and only we could know exactly what it felt like.

It was joy.

Again, they said, the very moment we came to a halt, every time. Let's do that again.

We're made to feel like that, fully alive. Like maybe we could even get hurt but the risk is worth the doubts and the adrenaline is a keeper of heartbeats and we just so badly want to feel them.

So that's what we did. We would feel alive like that and then stand and trudge our way back up so steep, legs feeling the uphill burn, huffing and puffing but not minding at all because of the expectation, the excitement.

Over and over we went and we were so tired when we slowly climbed back in the car.

It was so good. So worth every bump and grunt and huff and puff. So worth all the effort and strain.

To feel. Chilled and working hard and then riding the adventure for the sake of the joy.


"The glory of God is man fully alive." ~ St Irenaeus

15 clicked right here to comment:

Lee said...

I love this Heather. I loved it last year. And I actually love it even more right now.
Merry Christmas my friend and may 2011 bring you and me and all of us lots of fully alive moments....
Lots of love -

Jessica {Team Rasler} said...

Fabulous. That brings me right back to my own childhood. I can't wait until my boys are old enough that we can have that breathless moment at the bottom of the hill and the ensuing laughter. Right now there are other moments of baby- and toddlerhood that this has reminded me that I need to embrace more fully.

Ann Imig said...

I love this and even more wonderful with the current context.

Can't wait to see all these gifts of yours develop in 2011!!

Beth said...

I love that photo with the rainbow of light splashing through the center. Truly captures the moment.

gretchen from lifenut said...

I remember the post you wrote about sledding and how much I loved it. Nobody had any idea what you were facing, but you did.

I love it even more knowing how those exhilarating moments served as the catalyst.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad that you shared this again, since I missed it not knowing you the first time. But I'm so glad I know you now, and I'm thrilled that we actually met, and I can't wait to get you know you even better in 2012.

Anonymous said...

Lovely.... it moves in many ways reading this. thank you for sharing

MrsNilsenLife said...

I read this, that day in 2010. Of course I didn't know what all laid behind it, but I read it, and it struck chords in my heart. I thought - that, yes, THAT, is why we are parents, how we know to be fully alive.

And then I went away a few days and came back to find you being fully alive - for better or for worse - with all of us. You are brave, and beautiful, and imperfect.

And I loved re-reading this with all the history that has passed between.

Kazzy said...

I can't believe you are almost at your year anniversary of your great rebirth! I am proud of you.

5thsister said...

I loved how you used the word "trudge"...as you are now trudging the road to your happy destiny!

Congratulations on your approaching anniversary. Little do you know you were in impetus for me. I love you for that.

God bless!

Amy @ Never-True Tales said...

Merry Christmas to you and yours. I'm honored to have taken this journey to 'fully alive' with you this past year. Have I thanked you for blogging about this transformation in your life? Thank you.

rebecca @ altared spaces said...

"To Feel." trudging. the bumps. huffing. And...THE JOY!

Feeling all of it. The terror and the joy! Because life is so much, much better than the numb alternative.

I'm so glad you made your choice.

And with you here it makes me feel more. Isn't that the magic?

dangerous linda said...

Beautiful ... brings these play times with my kids right back to my mind and heart ... I love that gift you have! Thank YOU!

Melissa said...

Heather, you are amazing. I read your blog because your words always inspire me to be a better person (and you happen to be a tremendous writer).

Congratulations on all you have accomplished!


Erin said...

It seems like for me, (I don't know about other people) I have to fight to feel fully alive. It doesn't just happen for me. I love the way you explain it here.

Happy almost-one-year anniversary!!

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