I truly believe that the body is divine, and that "flesh" isn't evil, as some cultures and religions would like us to believe. If we are created in the image of God, then that must include our physical being.
As one of my final assignments, I chose to write a letter to myself from my spine (it ended up as a poem), and after receiving positive reactions when I read it to the group, I decided to share it with you, dear readers.
By Natalie Ramirez
I am the river birch in your parents’ front yard,
Bent under the weight of ice, bowed down during the stress of a storm
But flexible in the end, rising back up to the sky to touch the sun.
I’ve seen you through car crashes,
Being hit from behind by a vehicle traveling 55 miles per hour
While you were at a standstill.
Did you know I could handle that?
Air bag burns, glass under your skin, bruises, and trauma
All have nothing on me.
I am the garden hose you used for the sprinkler when you were a child,
Running in the summer with your sisters during heat waves.
When I have a kink in my line,
The nerves stop sending, the connections stop flowing,
And when you ignore me I’ll remind you to pay attention
With temporary paralysis,
Forcing you to give me the rest I require while you’re knocked out
With codeine and muscle relaxers.
I am a mountain range;
I am a coral reef.
I am a temple of stones stacked on top of one another
And a chain of stars connecting a constellation in the night sky.
I’ve told you when your high heels needed lowering,
When your slumping needed straightening,
When I couldn’t take any more hiking, rock climbing, horse wrangling,
Or when your full time job and full time university courses were killing me.
Cartwheels and roundoffs, headstands, backbends, and splits.
Down dog, up dog, cobra, bridge, and wheel,
Half moon, triangle, plow, and extended side angle.
Did you know I am a tree, an eagle, a king dancer, and a warrior?
The chiropractor is my friend and the massage therapist is my savior.
I’ve curled up with you in the womb
and I’ll lie down with you when you’re ready to return to the earth and to stardust.
I’ve got your back and I’ll raise you up.