On the journey from scarcity to abundance, there are many opposites, which, I’m told, hold the key to our undoing.
To be undone is to surrender, and even in surrender there are choices to make.
When I was first cut down from the net that hung from one of the oldest oaks in the forest where I was raised, I didn’t know how to use my legs.
Without a home, I was unable to embody anything. So I laid face first in the mud, the tender arms of my guardian angels holding me as they whispered instructions that most infants wouldn’t need.
‘Turn your head, darling.’
‘I can’t’ it was a plea rather than a complaint and they knew this, so they didn’t give up on me.
Not that they ever would, but I didn’t know it at the time.
My divine angels cast away the darkness that had spilled from that net with me while I was still too young to breathe.
They whispered a simple command without harshness when I forgot about lungs needing air.
It was a long time in the mud, my face partly turned to the left, my heart drumming a beat that would shock any cardiologist.
They held my heart with brilliant and warm hands. They kept my blue body from calling in the vultures. They wrapped my soul in special binding, though I was terrified of binds.
They didn’t leave when I cursed them for allowing me to be caught up in that net in the first place. They didn’t berate me when I fought their warmth.
The sun came up one morning, and it was different, because I could feel it on my face. This restored me somehow. I still cannot say how. With the sun came robins, curious, gentle crows, chipmunks, squirrels.
With the sun, I sat up. My spine was off, arcs of electricity sparking almost out of control as the crossed and missing connections tried to sing to each other.
I bent over at the waist, my hips protesting like rusted hinges. I picked my useless legs up by the muddied material of my jeans. A puppet whose lower extremities were never meant to be part of the show.
‘You’re ready,’ my angels whispered.
I laughed. There were no broken branches nearby to use, despite the release of a weight that must have snapped the limbs above up and back down with great force.
But as I laughed, my heart lit up. I felt hunger in my belly. It’d been so long since I had laughed. As I came back into my body, my angels wrapped me in colours and I remembered what it was like to feel determination.
Shaky, I made my way onto my belly. My arms were still strong. I didn’t realize how the weight I had carried across my shoulders for centuries had been preparing me.
With no steady sticks to offset the weight of my dead legs, I used my arms and my elbows to drag my body forward.
My angels kept me going in the right direction. I couldn’t see two inches in front of me. My elbows were getting torn and bloody from the pebbles on the forest floor. I prayed for moss, not knowing this hell would be over soon, not knowing there were better prayers.
I came upon the clearing. It was here I was meant to use the trees on the outside of the circled stand to learn to walk again.
It was here I was meant to make the choice as I looked over and saw the cliff. Knowing the only way out was to swing to the other side on a rope.
Knowing my own fear of ropes.