I'm getting a little bit good at this. Following the arrow of thought wherever it goes. Staying more interested in the arc of its flight, the hue and heft of the feathers on its end, the sharpness of its tip, considering how it might feel piercing the skin or the heart but taking care not to get in the way of it, so as not to find out for real.
Looking at it as a thing of beauty, something to observe and stand in awe of, maybe even learn something from as I bear witness to its trajectory instead of diving in front of it and letting it sink deeply into my flesh.
Avoiding that drama. It's not that hard. You just don't move. You just stay still.
It's a different experience than plunging into the struggle. The pain can still be exquisite, even when you're just looking at it, running your hands gently through the air around and over the arrow instead of actually touching it.
Breaths and moments and days and weeks go by and I watch as my girls grow up, up and away, gorgeous like fawns, just as stunningly strong and just as beautifully delicate. The pride is fierce but the sadness of feeling them start to slip through my hands is somehow fiercer.
The leaves on the trees are as vivid as the feathers on the ends of the arrows, and soon they'll fall and drift in earnest. The air is crisp and clear, and the early darkness fills the heart to bursting with a beauty that makes me want to weep. The cold is starting to creep in, slowing things down. I'll try to keep watch through the deepness of the coming days, until the arrows of spring start to fly again.