This story is by Amanda Lindsey and was part of our 10th Anniversary Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
Celebration through Movement
Her sparkly brown orbs opened and glanced about the room with delight. Bright, bold colors surrounded her, from vibrant paintings on the walls to a lovely fake floral arrangement sitting on a table at the foot of the bed. While this scene was the norm upon waking, she couldn’t place why things felt different today. She seemed to be peering through a new set of lenses.
Were the colors somehow bolder and brighter?
Her head and neck joined in to investigate the matter more thoroughly. Gently turning to the left, she noted a black purse bursting with multicolored spirals that hung on a wall-hook, shaped like a lime green lizard. For the next thirty seconds, she observed a hot pink scarf with teeny specks of glitter and how it provided the perfect backdrop for the little black purse. Switching to the right, she sighed in awe and stared at the main attraction of her room—a fabulous print created by a talented local artist. Its vivid colors, authentic bits of native culture, and humorous tales of her city popped into focus. After thirty seconds of fixing her attention on the print, she brought her head and neck back to the center. Oddly enough, they agreed with the message her eyes first conveyed; something was downright peculiar about today.
Her toes! Her fingers! They felt it too! The energy bubbled within, digits flexing inward and outward and bending at the knuckle joints. She delighted in the dance a single finger and toe could choreograph on its own. But the twists and turns that resulted when toes and fingers combined, with hands and feet, respectfully, mystified her completely. After thirty revolutions clockwise and thirty counter-clockwise, her stamina grew, arms begging to join in on the festivities.
The arms required a bit more tender love and care; they were often heavy to lift and stiff upon waking. Today, surprisingly—or not so much, as it would seem—her arms proved to be lighter and looser than they had been in ages. While lying on her back, she extended her limbs upward. She held them there for thirty seconds and envisioned herself reaching through large white, fluffy clouds to touch the midnight stars. Pretending she was walking high up on a tight-rope, she then splayed out her arms by her side and balanced herself for another thirty seconds. Afterward, she repeated this routine, tweaking it ever so slightly by rotating her arms in the opposite direction. Doing this would ensure the full benefits of her star-reaching and tight-rope-walking adventures in bed.
And finally, the legs got involved in the action of daily locomotion. Typically the most stubborn muscle group to motivate, they also reacted differently. As they levitated from the bed into the air, their fluidity astounded the girl. Lying flat on her back, she positioned herself into a perfect “L” shape. For thirty seconds, she gazed upon her toenails, painted a stunning shade of neon orange.
Which color should I experiment with next?
Unsure at the moment, she ventured on to subsequent stretches. From that “L” position, she slowly bent each knee several times, cranking up the gears so-to-speak. Bringing her legs down onto the bed, she decided it was time for snow angels. Closing her eyes, she imagined a vacant, snow-covered meadow on a chilly winter’s day. She began gliding her arms and legs back and forth; a huge smile crept on her face.
Wake-up routine completed, her body felt incredibly relaxed and oddly energized. Her eyes could see extraordinary beauty in their ordinary surroundings. She took great pleasure in the simple to very complex activities in which her muscles and joints engaged. From the top of her head to the tips of her toes, she recognized how easily her body flowed.
And then things began to make sense. One glance at the calendar—August 22nd—provided a critical piece to the puzzle. Today’s date was a remarkable occasion! The fabulous party outfit, laid out on the dresser the night before, also jogged her memory. A shimmering silver blouse paired with some black faux-leather pants, a sparkly diamond tiara, and an ivory sash with the words—10 Years Baby!!!—immediately grabbed her attention.
Had it been ten years already?
Time had a way of escaping her, but she could feel the truth deep within her flesh and bones. Her entire being felt the message that every inch was trying to express throughout her daily stretch routine. IT WAS HER TENTH PAIN-FREE ANNIVERSARY!
Ten years ago, today, she had been released from the horrendous pain and exhaustion that had left her bed-ridden and reliant on others. Joints were no longer stiff, hardened, or melded together in the fetal position. Overexcited nerves no longer burst into what seemed like a never-ending pit of flames, causing her skin to writhe in agony. The torment had ceased; she could move about freely and without pain.
And oh! How she and her body moved! Ligaments, tendons, muscles, and joints rejoiced in freedom. Overcome by their surroundings, they derived great pleasure in playful adventures. From observing bright, bold colors more passionately, to reaching through the heavens in search of gleaming stars, to mastering the balancing act of the tight-rope, and creating whimsical snow-angels in a frosted field, the “Celebration through Movement” had begun. Her very being had become consumed by it—HER TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF BEING PAIN-FREE!!!