If I wrote a love story, how would it begin?
Long ago, when my world was full of chaos and I longed for peace and security, I opened a book and fell headlong into it. The noise around me subsided; questions and worries fell away. The world in which I carried so much responsibility and so little power disappeared. I breathed my first full breath; calm superseded the chaos, and I felt love.
If I told a love story, what would be my tale?
Long ago, trapped in my childhood feeling choiceless and unheard, I looked around me and saw possibility. Filled with the stories I’d read, I saw myself re-invented by my constraints. Fields existed to be traversed; a picnic table transformed into a wilderness shelter; a tree became a crow’s nest; railroad tracks offered endless adventure; a solitary creek spoke of the river it joined. Possibility pointed to a place outside myself. My constraints fell away. Taking choice to myself, I crossed the field. Climbing the tree, I felt the wind. Sheltering beneath the table, I sensed my independence. Walking the rails, I saw the future distances I would travel. Wading the creek, I felt the power of forces unseen. All around me, I felt the existence of something more powerful than my limitations, and I felt love. From that moment on, I loved all that was and all that might be.
If I told a love story, how would my story end?
In my almost sixty years, I have learned that life is not a straight road; possibility speaks only to what might be. The Road of Life is full of dead ends and switchbacks. Speed signs can be too fast; bends can be too sharp. Roads turn to dust and gravel; bridges wash away. Blizzard winds blind; ice storms threaten death. Chaos forever threatens security. I am never without responsibility; I am never entirely in control. Questions and worries press my mind trapping me within myself. Unheard, I cry out in pain. But even in my darkest moments, there is a knowledge within me, a knowledge first experienced when as a child I opened a book and fell into that other world…and in my darkest moments, now as then, I take a breath and the world, so frightening, points to possibility. My racing heart eases; my mind clears. I take my coat off the hook, and I head out the door. I cross the field grateful for all that is and has been, trusting in the possibility of this moment. If I wrote a love story, this would be my tale. My story. A love story.