Remember the Core

For some reason, as I dive deep into my morning meditation, the words “Remember, The Core” pop into my head. In my mind’s eye, the letters are capitalized, much like Calgary’s downtown shopping area known as The Core. But that can’t be what I’m meant to remember, can it?

In the midst of my meditation, a soft laugh escapes from within me.

The core.

Not a bustling shopping center, but rather my belly—the muscles I am meant to keep strong to support my skeleton, enabling my body to stay upright and in motion.

Today’s meditation was far from serene. I drifted in and out of focus, much like the wisps of smoke drifting along the river’s surface this morning. While the sky above remained a vibrant blue, the river valley was veiled in a hazy uncertainty.

I consult my trusted Air Quality app, a morning ritual I rely on several times a day. It shows a reading of 3 today, down from yesterday’s 9. Moderate risk. According to the app, it’s deemed safe to venture outdoors.

Here along the river, it doesn’t look it, I step out onto the deck. The smell of smoke lingers in the air, its presence visible above the water’s surface.

I close the door, disregarding the app’s advice.

Seated at my laptop, I find myself confronted with unwritten thoughts. I’m aware of what I’m avoiding.

Today marks the twenty-year anniversary of my rebirth. At 9:14 a.m., twenty years ago yesterday, the man whose name no longer holds power over me was arrested, liberating me to reclaim my life.

It was on this very morning, two decades ago, that I began to write myself back into existence.

Yesterday, while working on my book, tentatively titled “Dare Boldly: Cultivating Passion and Joy After Life Knocks You Down,” I took a brief pause to browse my social media feeds.

There, at the top of my Facebook page, a memory resurfaced from four years ago.

“On this day four years ago,” it began.

It was May 21, 2019—the date I shared an article on my blog recounting the significance of that very day in 2003.

The day I reclaimed my life.

The day I awakened.

The day I discovered that hope still thrived amidst the shadows of abuse.

I had forgotten.

Even though my book delves into the journey of healing after that relationship, employing it as a framework for numerous exercises within its pages, I had let the weight of that memory slip my mind.

Yet, as I contemplated the Facebook memory, all I could think was, “Wow, I’ve come a long way.”

This is not the first time the significance of that date has faded with the passing years. Life, like ripples on water, expands ceaselessly, unveiling beauty, wonder, and awe.

Today, as smoke gently skims the river’s surface, the Canada Goose—a faithful visitor who builds her nest on the riverbank below every spring—lands with a clunk on the railing of our upper deck. Standing tall, neck outstretched to the full length of her avian skeleton, she surveys the surrounding land, her eyes watchful for any lurking predators.

And every year, time moves forward, an unbroken stream of passing moments, each carrying its own gifts.

For amidst my journey into and out of abuse, I have gleaned one unyielding truth, a truth that forms the core of my existence and shapes my beliefs in the beauty of life today: Regardless of the chaos surrounding me, when I actively seek to find the value in all things, when I embrace the gifts within each moment, disappointment becomes a foreign concept, as transient as a wayward traveller stopping for just a brief moment at my doorstep before moving along its way.

Pain too is but a transient visitor.

Love, on the other hand, is eternal.

This is my core—the bedrock of my beliefs.

Guiding me, a steadfast North Star.

For love endures, now and forevermore.


6 thoughts on “Remember the Core

  1. Through the smoky haze you have emerged today, a quarter century later – stronger, more vibrant, ready to tackle challenges as they come. This journey of evolving into the Louise we all know, love, admire and cajole into taking yet another leap forward has been a learning experience for all who have been there with you, watching from near or far, the smile of joy and happiness, the occasional sadness as it clouds your eyes through times of sorrow, hurt. Go girl!


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