the persistent stowaway


they’re never on my packing list,

but i never leave home without them . . .


hot flash strikes.

out of the blue

no warning

no discernible trigger

just the teensiest little ole’ warning i’ve come to recognize

from paying close attention to myself:

nanoseconds before a hot flash arrives

i can breath more clearly.

my breathing passages just flat-out open up

heralding the arrival of

the intense heat that spreads rapidly through my body,

not discriminating against any one particular area.

i feel like i’ve just been wrapped in plastic wrap –

not the kind you buy in the store –

this plastic wrap sticks.

no air can get to me.

moments before, i could breathe expansively

now i can’t breathe at all.

while my brain races

frantically looking for an exit sign,

my body quietly points to the exist sign

and my brain calms down,

settles in.

i toss out the dismissive, overused phrase “this too shall pass”

replacing it with

“more women than i can count have survived hot flashes. i will be fine.”

then i tune in and notice my body like never before.

this amazing body

that has long been a source of embarrassment

instead of a place of refuge and strength.

on any given day and for far too many years

i scold it, scoff at it, ignore it.

and now, during this wildfire,

i find my way to appreciation.

breath holds my hand

until the hot flash recedes,

regrouping for next time

it will show up unannounced and uninvited

to beam me into my body,

into the present.




This post was birthed by my participation in Bindu Wile’s 21.5.800 project, and (even though it’s officially ended) Dian’s Self Evidence project (self-awareness).

Technorati Tags: #215800, #SelfEv


  1. Mrsmediocrity

    Ha…yes, the last year or so, creeping up on me…but so good that you put the positive spin on it, I will remind myself of that next time I feel sweat trickling down my spine… 🙂

  2. julie daley

    breathtakingly beautiful is the love i sense you feel for your body, for all it does for you, for the life it gives you, and even for the intense aliveness you experience by way of it, that beautiful body of yours. thank you for reminding me that these, too, are moments of great grace, moments that only a woman, a wise woman of years, can experience.

  3. kimberley

    Beautiful. Beautiful.
    I've had the same relationship with my body. Yoga, massage and changing my nutritional habits have brought me into my body in a radical way.

  4. AlanaSheeren

    I love the shift that's happening for you. The embracing of “female” and all it entails. The embracing of all that you, powerful, lovely Jeanne, are.

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Hey, Sugar! I'm Jeanne Hewell-Chambers: writer ~ stitcher ~ storyteller ~ one-woman performer ~ creator & founder of The 70273 Project, and I'm mighty glad you're here. Make yourself at home, and if you have any questions, just holler.

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