Permission to Breathe

February 23rd, 2021

Despite everything, there is something magical about that first inhale of near-spring air after a seemingly infinite span of bitter cold.

I’m not a person who believes that suffering makes a human better. I think that I will always struggle to varying degrees from the pain that I’ve been through and the pain that I’ve inflicted; I feel like a lot of people who have been through any kind of trauma can attest to that. What doesn’t kill you could have, and it’s hard to forget that.

We’ve been through a deep freeze as of late. Only over the past day or two have we been able to remember a temperature that isn’t actively trying to kill us.

When I took Marvel out today, she gulped the air through her big, wet nose like she had never smelled sweet oxygen before. We smiled together, and as much as I don’t want to admit it, there is absolutely something special about being able to breathe fresh air after surviving a winter.

More than just a season, the last year has felt like that isolated cold. Staring out the window, counting uncertainties.

Learning to breathe again — cautiously, optimistically — is the lesson that I needed today. And my dog, aware that I am helpless without her, is the teacher who shows me how.


Published by dennisvogen

I'm me, of course. Or am I?

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