// i know what it feels like…

written: 11 December 2012; based upon a dream i had had that previous night. posting it now because i had a similar dream the night before last. 

Her knees had healing scrapes and she wore a guarded smile. I don’t know what I said to get her attention, but she sat down on the curb and looked me in the eyes. I am you, at age twenty-two. Her eyes widened, but I could tell that she believed me. Children are impressive that way, at eleven she accepted the statement that I still had trouble believing. But then again, I had just spend time talking to our six year old self so maybe this wasn’t too bizarre. I took my younger self by the hands and asked if everything was okay. My twenty-two year old memory was hazy when it thought back to this eleven year old sitting in front of me. She looked me in the eyes and then down at the pavement. There was a secret too great for words. We let it be a mystery and I felt the words rise up in my throat and come out flowing, “please talk about it darling. It will save you so much heartache if you open yourself up to someone and let this secret out.”

It was a strange thing, these words that seemed to flow from the depths of my heart. The same strange feeling had come through my voice when I told my six year old self that I loved her and let down my hair to let her see that she would be beautiful someday. I whispered that she was loved and treasured.

But back to the eleven year old in front of me. She let her backpack fall over in the grass next to her and studied me carefully. For whatever odd reason she didn’t ask me any questions about her future, but only waiting silently for me to continue. I helped her stand up and led her down the hill to the playground. In my mind I wanted to show her the spinning swing, but I had forgotten that it was a modern design and did not exist for her eleven year old self. But then something magical had occurred and the playground looked like the playground of my college years.

We spun and we laughed and slowly my eleven year old began to blossom. Her smiled stretched across her face and I felt my heart healing inside my own chest. This is what freedom feels like. We nurture the child and tell her that it will be okay. We reach into her and show her that she is beautiful. My eleven year old self looks at me and we are both dizzy as we saunter over to the grass and collapse, staring up at the blue sky and white clouds. She tells me the scientific name for these particular clouds while I point out their shapes. I have long forgotten this middle school knowledge. We laugh and the world spins all around us. Little me looks at me and whispers, “I know what it feels like to be the fly trapped in the spider’s web.”

I whisper back, “I know what it feels like to be the caged bird.”

It’s silly code but we understand each other and I am proud of her for breaking the silence. I take her hand and we lay in the grass until the clouds directly above us move to the corner of the sky. Soon I will have to go, but first I work on middle school math problems and kiss her good-bye with a promise that she is free. Somehow I know she will have a surreal experience very soon of our Creator and his vast love.


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