Late last week I gave myself a nasty paper cut, one I didn’t fully appreciate until I tried out a new salt scrub. Sweet mother of god! I’ve had spinal taps that were less painful!
I was certain I’d be nursing my grievous wound for weeks, so was pleasantly surprised when the band-aid fell off in the shower yesterday morning, revealing a perfectly healed finger. Amazing!
There was a time when I thought the only miracle my body was capable of, was worthy of, was creating, carrying, birthing, and nurturing a child. Now that that ship has sailed, I’ve become more aware of the miracles it performs every day. It swims, it runs, it carries 60 lb. dogs and bags of groceries up stairs. It breathes, it whistles, it sings! It turns brown in the sun, it blushes at the slightest flirtation, it gets splotchy when it cries, whether in sorrow or joy.
Many of us have felt that our bodies have betrayed us, and we’ve beaten ourselves up for what our bodies couldn’t or wouldn’t do. With full acceptance of my path on the horizon, today I choose to celebrate, with gentleness and gratitude, this miracle that is my body. It’s the least I can do after all it’s done for me.
Kathleen Guthrie Woods is a Northern California–based freelance writer. She’s mostly at peace with her decision to be childfree.