began with blue skies and white clouds building,
then came the drip-drop
until it became a steady, roaring stream.
over the roof,
the skylights have dappled,
makes my skin tingle for the intimacy of the rain clinging,
and you, as we dance together in it.
The God of wine is keeping my eyes warm
as I’m wrapped in a blanket to keep the chill out.
To be a child again,
and to hide underneath an umbrella while the rain,
playfully, whips around, and teases my face.
the rhythm of the beat of the drops coming down are just their way of saying hello,
and keeping me company,
while I’m alone.
The willow swayed softly in the breeze.
The ducklings followed their mother, as any good duckling should.
The willow grew depressed because she had no children of her own.
Her good friend the hummingbird came flitting by when he heard the willow weeping into the stream.
“Beautiful willow, you have a wonderful home and a wonderful life. Why do you cry?”
“I have no lover. I have no children. And all around me are families growing and sharing and I want that too!”
“But Willow, dear, you have it so good! Yes, you do not have children of your own and you do not have a lover. But you get to see generations of families grow old and then start new families. You never have to worry about outliving your children. Or having your heart broken. And it is an outright lie if you really think you don’t have any family!”
“What do you mean?”
“Am I not your family? Aren’t all the animals who take shelter underneath you a part of your family? They all talk to you and share with you like they would to their mothers. The humans too! Don’t deny that a human or two has sat in your shade and told you more secrets then anyone in their life.”
“But I don’t understand…”
“You don’t have to be of the same blood or even species for them to be your family. As long as you care for them when they need you and you feel they love you as well.”
“I guess I never thought of it that way.”
“Just enjoy your life, Willow. I must be off, I smell a flower that is calling my name.”
“Thank you hummingbird, you put it in perspective.”
Hummingbird flew off to the sweet nectar that waited for him. Leaving Willow alone, but only for a short while because just then a maiden came walking over the hill with a bouquet of lilacs in her hand.
The maiden was a lovely creature with skin the color of cream. Her hair was the color of rich mahogany that was twisted up underneath a lace bonnet, yet a few curls always escaped; almost as if they couldn’t stand to be restricted. The maiden visited the willow often. The first time she had, she had been crying and it was obvious she was running away from something. The willow had moved her limbs back and forth in a calming motion until the maiden fell asleep after confessing everything on her mind. Then the willow had gently roused her before it was dark. After that, the maiden came to see the willow at least once a week, but usually more.
The maiden curled up on her favorite nook on the willows trunk and started to recount her week, as she did every week. When she got to the end, she set the lilacs on the willow and rubbed the willows trunk. “I love you Willow, you always make me feel so much better as if all you want to do is make me feel better. I hope you like lilacs, I thought they’d look lovely on you. I’m sorry I can’t stay longer, but I have many chores to do. But I’ll be back.”
The maiden ran back up the hill, and the willow scooped up one of the lilacs in one of her long tendrils.”I’ll always be here,” said the willow and she knew in that moment that she did indeed have family.
The maiden returned the next morning, and still grasped in the long tendril was the lilac.
Running. That’s all she was ever doing. At the moment, she was panting and pushing herself to make it to the clearing. She knew it was safe there. But thats not where the running begins. Oh no, definitely not.
All her life she was pushing herself to do good. Amazing grades, no trouble. No, not the trouble child. That was her siblings. She was the easy child to deal with. Of course as she grew up and went to high school she eased off a little. Got into some trouble. Teen rebellion, normal. Still, comparing her to the three siblings before her, she was the easiest child for her parents to raise. But now she’s all grown up. Ready to jump ship and go to college. Oh, but the running. The continuous running thoughts, “How will you pay for this? How will you do this? What if you can’t do this? What will you do if you fail? You can’t fail!!” But as it keeps stressing her out, she keeps procrastinating. Thinking all the while, “I’ll do this. But I also have to do that. And this! And this!” It’s enough to make anyone crack.
So that’s how come she’s in the middle of the woods, running. Running away from reality for the night. She went to a party with some friends, like always. She kept thinking about money trouble so she walks off into the woods to clear her head a little. But as she kept walking, she kept thinking. But then she hears twigs break. She whips around to see a giant wolf behind her. Its staring her down. She’s shaking. She starts to back away. The wolf takes one step towards her and it has her running back the way she came. But she’s so scared and she’s still got the repeating, “You can’t fail! You have to do this,” on her mind that she can’t find her way! She turns around only once to see if she has lost the wolf, and sees nothing. But the only light is the moonlight being filtered through the overhanging leaves of the ancient trees, so she has no clue what could be lurking. Paranoia sets in. Then in the distance, she thinks she sees a light. Must be the campfire, she thinks. So she starts walking. As she walks she trys to clear her head. Think positive thoughts is what everyone tells her.
She thinks of the fun she’ll have in college. About how it’ll be nice to be able to do her own thing, to see her boyfriend whenever she damn well wants. That brings a smile to face and she quickens her pace. She thinks about how after she gets out of college that she’ll have a good job so she’ll actually be able to pay off whatever debt she acquires. She thinks about the looks of pride her family gave her when she said she was going to college. She remembers the way it was to open up that big envelope and see the words, “Congratulations! You’ve been accepted!” She’s jogging now, trying to reach the ever growing light. She thinks of all her friends going away to college. She thinks of how her best friend cried with joy and said she deserved it. How her best friend made her cry with all the memories she brought up. How her boyfriend looked at her when she said she got into the same school as him. The way his eyes lit up. She’s running now. Panting out air, she’s only steps from the inside of the clearing. She stops running and breathes. She steps into the light and calls out, “Alright! I’m ready for whatever is next!”