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I’ve been a closed person for a long time
I could spend time explaining why
But it’s private and of no interest to anyone
So a gift of a spa massage was a little unnerving
I used to love massages when I was younger
And thinner
And more confident
And pretty
And witty
And fun

I was even nervous as the time approached
The fluffy robe was warm
The room was darkened with just the light
Of glowing candles
The music of waves rolled across the room

And there I was, a naked 68-year old fat woman
Feeling every year and noting every blemish on my body
But I snuggled up under the sheet
And waited
I started making my put-down jokes in my head
“Bet she’s never had this much flesh to work with…”
I told myself to stop it and did some deep breathing
Along with her work on my neck
I let my mind go – I felt peace descend

I was still tense so I stopped thinking of “me.”
And let my mind wander
I thought of some leaves I saw yesterday
Starting to turn to orange on a tree
How brilliant they were against the blue sky
I thought of birds’ wings and how they move
Through the air so effortlessly

The movement of the massage and the placement of hot rocks gave me warmth
They reminded me of my favorite Sandia Mountains in New Mexico
Rising up from the desert
Orange and red in the setting sun

Opening myself up to nature
Maybe would help me drop this shield
I’ve been staying behind
Being outside more of the day will be a goal of mine

Of course, an occasional 90-minute hot rock massage would help too.
I’ll start saving up for my “reward.”