today the wild warmth of July entwined itself around my thighs, pulling me close to earth, and I wandered with an earned slowness befitting a woman in summer. a storm sat on the heat's back, a heavy burden for such a thick creature, and it took its sweet time brewing. 

I like this word. I rejoice in the anticipation of a thing, and I revel in the relief its final arrival brings, and yet I've never spoken of my own steeping beyond the roar of a whisper. I settled upon the word as I sat languishing in a bath, soaking away the sweat of standing still, and holding back the tears of truth: I am not brave. I do not jump in. I bounce between, yes, and rerouting always, and an arrow perennially fixed on my next mark, but I am not brave. this goes unnoticed. 

the storm has broken now, and it brings a steam to the pavement that reminds me of my youth. it brings a breeze so welcome as to bring entire conversations to a halt. and it brings me face to face with the words I long to say. 

I have journeyed across the country on my own, with my cat and all my possessions strategically packed in no less than five cars and traversed the land. I have tucked into countless corners and closed my eyes, letting the band's music wash over me with no one to talk with after. I left the man I called husband in my heart and have mothered a wild girl for all the days after entirely on my own. I have danced and sung and wept across stages, and poured my heart onto a thousand pages, but I am not brave. 

if I was brave I would tell you that I am desperate for love to hold me again and wrap calm around my heart, a mending I simply cannot give myself. if I was brave, I would shout out loud on my most fraught days and tell you of the wicked words I whisper to myself about the many cracks which exist within me. if I was brave, I would tell you that I find myself crying over boiling water sometimes, my insides similarly bubbling and bursting and at a breaking point. or that I cry sometimes without noticing, my throat full from choking back heartache, the tears with nowhere else to go. see, if I was brave, I would tell you that the consuming, paralyzing love I have for my daughter is only rivaled by the complete and total panic I feel every other second. who is this woman I have become and when can she have peace? when might she look at her body - her strong, capable body - and kindly call it home? that would be brave. when might I take the risk to be heard without biting on my tongue for fear of the voices of others? that would be brave. 

as I watch the rain wash across the earth, replenishing the flowers and buds on the porch, and wiping clean the stifling world, I envy the ease. no one remarks on the bravery of a brewing storm. can you imagine? the ladies whispering behind cupped hands of the audacity the clouds have to burst at this moment. the flowers gossiping that it wasn't enough?

I want to be a mother like nature, content to take my time and unbothered by the desires of others. today I will be brave as the earth, and I will brew steadily, and I will pour at will, and I will burn a hot heat and gust strong, welcome breezes, and I will not apologize for the record highs which came before nor the lows that occasionally pass. I'm just brewing. you brew, too.