The other morning, as sleep slipped over the cusp of consciousness, the words “helmet heart” echoed in my head. I tried to grab bits of the dream, wondering what this meant but was left only with those two words and the memory of taking off my bike helmet in the days when I used to bike long distances.
The helmet would have invariably pressed my wavy hair to my head, and I’d run my fingers through the strands to give it some life. On the morning of the helmet heart dream, it occurred to me I’ve very likely been keeping my heart under tough guard the past few years, without fully realizing it. I wondered if it’s time to fluff up my heart a bit, to let it expand to its natural state, even though I have no idea what this means.
No doubt I’ve shielded my heart from romantic relationships since the divorce, but I also wonder how I’ve helmeted it in other ways that I haven’t seen—such as not posting writings because they’re not fully formed yet (like this one) … or not intentionally planning joyful play time as I might define that, not just how Nina would. I don’t know yet what it would look like to fluff up my heart, and that’s ok. Maybe just taking the helmet off will oxygenate the answers.
So, that’s what this quiet Valentine’s day has me pondering. Nina, meanwhile, has been asking all month what this day is supposed to be about anyway. At the age of eight, she is straddling those days between innocence and awareness on so many levels, including what it feels like to have a crush, but this year she is strong in her stance that Valentine’s Day is a downright creepy celebration. She’s asked repeatedly, “Who celebrates a holiday where a baby flies around in a diaper shooting people with a bow and arrow?!” I don’t have good answers for her, either, on that one. I only know that, like most holidays certainly including Thanksgiving, love and gratitude should be daily practices and not relegated to one day of recognition.
My only other wish regarding this day is that some things remain immune from modernization, and that I finally wake-up and break-up with Pinterest.