The Warrior and The Waif

I dwell within the vessel of a Warrior. My considerable gluts command attention. Along the mirrored barrier at the back of the yoga studio I cannot ignore them when I peek to adjust my stance. They hold extended poses as if it isn’t difficult while I take in and release ujjayi breath. As if. I am the heaviest I have been, as the scale measures, in my post-partum life. They are prominent and without the tone I would prefer, but they sustain me and the weight of all that I carry as I ascend the jagged, rocky bluffs along the trails each morning searching for contentment. And the sturdy legs beneath them reinforce my fortitude as I heave boxes and the memories within them to start a new life this year. They are substantial enough to caress the small of my lover’s back as he caresses them in return. They assert, unapologetically, “I am here. Now.” My trunk is thicker – menopause; stress. And my middle is punctuated with undulating skin fractures that shift to mulberry when the sun kisses them. I expose them to the warmth regardless. They deserve at least that much consideration for the four people they represent and the three others who never quite arrived. I no longer care what other people wonder when they see them. After all, what true Warrior has no scars?

But…

This Warrior body that carries me now would not exist but for the determination of the Waif host that once did. She, too, had a time and a purpose. She was the lightest, as the scale measures, and nimble. She loped country roads through the ink of night at 7-minute splits - far afield from the people who sought to harm her. She slivered between the garment bag and the wall in the walk-in closet when hiding was necessary and running was no longer permitted. She controlled food so that she could control something when she lost her purpose otherwise. She was flat-chested, open-hearted and with an expansive understanding that she needed to survive so that, someday, the Warrior could carry me instead. She loved me that much. I caught a glimpse of her earlier this year when she rose to run with me again. I asked her, politely, to keep a seat and rest. For now.

I am the daughter of two mothers - The Warrior and The Waif.

And I am all that I am today with deference and gratitude to both.  

Christine Lasher