While sitting in the small waiting area to see my acupuncturist/TCM Doctor, a little girl of about 7 years came out from behind a screen. She was slithering around on the floor, and looking up at me without an ounce of shyness. "What am I?" she asked me.
She rolled her eyes, clearly unimpressed. "I have paws, but I also have wings to fly."
I felt kind of stumped.
"I look like a lion..." she offered me.
"I really have no idea."
"I'm a griffin!" she finally exclaimed, "a mythical creature!"
She then sat beside me and we went through as many of the mythical creatures we knew of. She knew a lot more than I did. I realized I need to start brushing up on my skills in all departments related to fun learning - I do believe Cedar will want to know about Griffins and such.
The doctor finally called me in, and I said goodbye to the precocious little girl who had reminded me of unicorns and sea serpents, the pegasus, and minotaur. We were, however, by the end of the conversation, stumped over one - one we couldn't remember the name of, but knew it was a bird.
I sat across from the Doctor, and he checked my pulse, and looked in my eyes, and also checked my tongue. "Are you feeling better? Your mood - is it better?"
"Yeah, it is."
"So it's time. Time is what you need. I could have increased your medicines, but really - it's time."
Just then the little girl popped her head in to the office, "The phoenix! That's the one we forgot!"
When she said it, I remembered bumping into a dear friend (and mom) on the street on a day when I was in my shell-shocked state. "Don't worry," she said, "you'll be like a phoenix rising from the ashes."
After the little girl left, my doctor said, "The phoenix is a very sacred mythical animal in China. Represents the Yin, and the dragon represents Yang. The phoenix comes from below and rises above, and the dragon comes down from above."
In that moment, I wanted him to tell me that my pulse was perfect, that I was healed, that I wasn't sitting in the ashes anymore, waiting for resurrection. But instead he stuck the needles in me and I lay in a cubicle for twenty minutes. I tuned in and realized that he was playing Kenny G really loudly. Life seemed kind of absurd in that moment, so I thought about the phoenix. I thought about how I wish I wasn't going through all this postpartum stuff, and could just feel like myself again. Suffering about my suffering. Learning to be patient. Letting the heart heal itself, allowing life to show me the way instead of blasting my path with determination.
Things go up and down. Control is no longer something I salivate over. Instead, I look for truth and humility in the everyday. Maybe when the phoenix rose from the ashes it wasn't a dramatic affair, maybe it was just normal for that kind of magic to occur. And maybe all it took was time.