The First Time

The first time I saw a snowflake up close, I was amazed that it looked just like the cut-outs we did in school. The flakes shimmered like giant pieces of glitter in the setting sun, and I couldn’t believe I’d never see that kind of beauty before.

The first time I felt energy in a group ritual, I was drunk in the realization that *we* had made it. That pulsing beat ran through us all, and the room kept spinning long after we stopped dancing.

The first time I felt rage, I was burning with it. The wind seemed to whip harder, and the night seemed angry with me. My friends hid all of the candles in the house before I was let in, and I found grim satisfaction in the fact they feared what I might do.

The first time I fell in love, I was so confused. It wasn’t like the movies, or the romance books I’d started to read. Instead, it was finding that string that connects us all and seeing the distance between our two points as a breathe, a heartbeat.

The first time I wrote a story, I fell out of this world and into one that made more sense. I ran through walls, and no one could hear me screaming inside. The story helped me capture my depression and give it context, because logic said my own life was too good to be its source.

The first time I questioned monogamy, I thought sharing was easy. I shared my best friend with others, so why not a boyfriend? It took years for me to understand why everyone else was so shocked that I would suggest something so seemingly simple. Then again, I was in first grade at the time.

The first time I lost a loved one, I was an ocean away. I lit a candle to my grandpa and promised to mend my relationship with his son. Grief reminds us of what’s most important.

The first time I tasted a huckleberry, I was in awe. I’d never eaten a fruit straight from a plant before. To think, these things grew wild and free all around the house! The experienced reinforced new pagan feelings I’d been exploring, in my connection to the Earth and Her ability to provide for us all.

The first time I walked by a creek, I realized that no other body of water would ever call to me the same way. The dappled sunlight, the dragonflies, the sound of water over stone. I would sit and listened for hours without moving, just breathing in the moment.

The first time I got a tattoo, I gritted my teeth in preparation for the needle against my skin. The gentle scratch took me by surprise, and the small star didn’t fully heal before another tattoo was drawn into my skin.

The first time I really danced, I felt more at home in my skin that moment than in the years leading up to it. It was just me and the Music, swaying and spinning on the dance floor. I forgot where I was and who was around me. In a way, I had my first transcendental experience at a middle school mixer.

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