The Complexity of Mother Nature's Gifts

October 22, 2018

The Ward

a monthly feature by Elisabeth Horan


The Complexity of Mother Nature's Gifts


The fall always forms the shapes of loss. Dead leaves, dead summer, vacant endings... beginnings are for the selfish spring. Hunting season, deer bones, chaos, snow and frozen noses reign. 


In Vermont, in October and November, I sense a folding inward, at the waist, a retraction of hope and strength. It is more a bracing of the shoulders against the harsh wind, eyes to the ground, a trudging begins to take hold of my steps, and I do the chores as a stoic farmwife, from here on in through April. 


This mirrors the braced and trudging steps of how I often sort and file my life and battle with mental illness - I accept what I cannot change... I rue the things which make me sad - that which has not been given to me... If only I was thin, pretty, cool, had not been molested, had made better life choices, had not almost killed myself drinking away the pain. 


If only, only only. If only the sun shone... 


But what if I embraced my chubby thighs, my imperfect life. What if I said, guess what God, I forgive you, for all the fucking brutal pain, I forgive my rapist and his pain. I forgive the bullies who teased me.... I forgive myself for all the incredible hurt I caused my husband in my quest to destroy myself as punishment for the horrible things I (thought) I had done. 


We often hurt others because we have been hurt. Bullies often bully because they have been bullied. God was not in charge of my thighs, of my shape, of my weight, of my outcome. Who shall I hold accountable for the blessings or curses I had been given.




I'm gonna try to see death for what it is. It's just the ending of something. The end of summer, the end of a horse's life, the end of hating my body. Other people need me and find me beautiful, in all my flaws. My husband has forgiven me. I work to forgive a God I've never met. 


I'm gonna celebrate my body and be thankful that it still works. That it can comfort children, hold food, take steps, attract others...that its fingers can type poems.


I forgive the fall for taking my horse to ground. For its bitter wind and incessant howl. It too, has been hurt and held down.


Thank you for reading my words. May you find blessings and light in the complexity of Mother Nature's gifts.


Thank you Twitter writers loves, for holding me up during this difficult time of grief and loss. 



With love, Elisabeth




Pants ain't holding this shit



You think we might be better off in the ward? Young one… u been to the sea with a woman; u been to mountain with a man, asked God, we did, and learned that for him... we ain't waiting around.