This post will unbearably wander the tragically dark forest surrounding my soul.
Memories are wolves, sheep inconspicuously disguised. If I were to point out each animal, I would question why certain niches are dug deep. Deeper than the happiness of the carefree summers at grandpa’s farm, chasing butterflies and barn cats. And oh, deeper than the bravery of inching past the chained bull, his eyes glaring under duress, so cousins and I could climb up to the hayloft and swing from the barn rafters into piles of scratchy hay.
A mind caught off guard, relives the fever of grandpa’s anger, eyes glaring same as the beast in the barn, his wicked hands venturing in to break our glee. I watch my brother, legs running as fast as they can carry, seeking refuge under a bed. I fashion my mouth mum, holding breath as I listen for the rabid footsteps.
I like to think I understand why evil grips my imagination. I notice the broken children walking toward the homeless shelter where I volunteer. I volunteer as therapy, breaking the grip of evil lodged within, desperately yearning to change their innocent world gone wrong. Their hardened faces reminders as to why I bother. Their images mirror the light as I reminiscence.
One particular boy enters my thoughts over and over. He would not face me, his head buried in a hoodie. I did not prod the fragile clay pot balancing on the edge of a chair. Twenty minutes passed before he turned to tell me about his day of bullies, backpacks and buses, recalling how much he dreaded school. I was there to tutor him but he brought awareness to a problem much larger than I can fix.
Life is intolerably heavy and yet I wake each morning. The night’s ache never disappears. My heart cries but it still craves beauty even where beauty seemingly does not exist. Each wounded child is beauty enough to carry me another day. Maybe, just maybe, they will make their way back to me with good news.
I do write a lot of darkness because I have a dire fear of happiness, wrapped with guilt that weighs me down. It is a miracle I am here. In many ways it is a miracle any of us are here.
Grace is enough to see
me through the maze
of darkened forest paths.
Healing light aglow
and every child welcomed
dining at the banquet feast.
Love and recognition
thrown into the wishing well
the winding river never empty.