By Diana Creel Elarde
It irritated me that she could so quickly go off, leaving me to deal with the swirling emotions tied with her departure.
So innocent her move; so potent the action.
What depths of despair I felt when her car door slammed and her engine started. I stood in disbelief until the sound of her car was just a memory, a something that could have happened. Yes, it was like that; dream-like in the sense when your body and your mind don’t feel connected. Each seemed to be experiencing something different, separate from each other as if they were in altered realities at the same time.
My walk away from the parking lot was mechanical in nature. I had to dictate each action, each tiny movement. My brain sending commands in its loud clear voice, left foot, right foot. It was my ego which rebelled trying to order me to stay until she returned. Quite clear it was in the idea she would be back. The ego in its tirade, I decided, had tied itself to inflated ideas of what I had meant to her. Today, it will have to find another way to save face.
I rapidly moved into the woods to be among the tall full trees of mid-summer. I listened for the water, trying to concentrate my efforts outside of my fragile sense of worth.
After a few moments I stopped, taking my shoes off I walked bare footed among the trees, not caring what my feet would find. Pine needles pricked my delicate skin, but I continued to walk. In my younger years, shoes during the summer months were nothing more than a nuisance. I played along the tall grass, the shore and the woods without fear, without trepidation, my feet leathering as the summer continued.
I have infant skin now on my aging feet; feet I rarely allow to touch the earth with their bareness. Within this experience today, I don’t know if I should feel delight from the needles and dirt sticking to me, or brush it all away regain my needed comfort with my shoes.
There are days I am weary of convention and so many rules. I feel exhausted by the narrow, stringent lines I have drawn around my life, like never feeling the earth with bare toes. I can’t remember when I choose to narrow my world or why it happened this way. Is there still time for my soul to feel free, soaring itself far above the earth like a balloon escaping the small hands of a child?
As much as my mind screams for my shoes, I continue on, sensing I know where I want to find myself. Each step becomes freeing; making me feel lighter. In the hurt of my feet I feel the days of my youth stirring deep within my being.
When I finally hear the brook, I stop and wait with ears that no longer hear as clearly as I would want. Was it the brook I had actually heard? Or was it the wish for the sound?
No, I was sure I had heard it and a small smile comes to my lips. I forget the discomfort of my feet and moved to where I knew I could find the brook. Grateful, so grateful some memories are alive inside me ready to be recalled just when I need them. Within minutes I sit in my spot, the spot I had declared mine so very long ago.
There you go I thought, just like you in the past, running for your spot, your security.
Laughing to myself I conclude it was a longer walk and more difficult than I remembered. Perhaps it was my age catching up with me or maybe my narrow lines truly are choking the life out of me.
In our soul do we age I wondered as I gently sit myself down. Or do we age in the time scale mankind has dictated to us? Am I the same spirit, the same being, who came to this place on earth so many years ago?
Shaking my head, I think about how ridiculous these questions sound. Clearly they are ego fancy designed to make my mind feel it has a purpose more than just taunting me about this morning’s fight.
Serious tears start to blink along my eyes as I remember her words. I try to concentrate on the water, but it has barely enough depth and movement to clear small rocks. I need it to be roaring with white water, I think to myself. Yes, my soul needs such a cleansing to erase the years of junk I have collected. Raging water to take away all that keeps my soul grounded, without flight.
It won’t happen today, not with this gentle brook. As I sit, resignation comes and my tears begin to fall into the movement of the water. Swirling in slow circular patterns, they trickle over the small rocks. Finally, they merge into the stream’s waters collecting just enough strength to join into the lazy flow. Gradually, so very gradual they begin to run their course continuing on with a new purpose. I watch as they merge into the current and in their silence, they move beyond me.