April 5, 2015


From the seclusion of my oasis, I used to watch the cars drive by on the main road.  Often they appeared as an endless stream of passersby, racing to get wherever they were going.  I wondered if they ever even bothered to look down the gravel road and wonder, "Who lives there?"  Now I know how completely oblivious they were and are.

The sign was like a knife twisting in my heart when I first saw it.  In my entire life, I never dreamed it would be there.  Growing up, I knew that no matter what happened, my oasis at the end of the gravel road would always be there waiting for me.  More than anywhere I have ever lived, I called this place my home, my joy, my source of adventure, and later my font of inspiration.

Those cars with the drivers that had so carelessly driven past a hundred times before, flooded my oasis, directed there by that sign.  I watched as the vultures swooped in to pick the carcass of my childhood clean.  Dutifully, I joined them, hoping to devour some scrap that would restore the magic of my oasis to what it had been before.  Deep down, I knew there was nothing there that could do this for me.  Yet I was swept up in a whirlwind of activity and my heart told me to react or lose.  One by one, the treasures of my childhood were stripped away.  They came, they took, and they walked away, indifferent as they had ever been.  Those things which I thought had been most important when growing up, I discovered to be easily replaced or overlooked; those things which had been a comfort, now struck out like a brood of vipers.

The emptiness of my oasis became a well of bitter waters from which I had no choice but to draw from.  Each time I went there, I had to confront that nebulous future loss and the reminder that my dream was in ruins.  Each trip down the gravel road became ever increasingly more difficult, each journey with the oblivious crowd on the main thoroughfare became a small comfort, until I found myself a member of that endless stream of travelers passing by.

I don't remember how it happened exactly, but one day as I was driving by my oasis, I realized the knife twisting in my heart didn't have to be a traitor's strike.  If I lay down my dream by my own volition, it would be my sacrifice and it could no longer be stripped away.  How powerful that moment to lay my own hand upon that knife; how much more powerful to find it impossible to bring harm!

A new spring has risen within me, releasing me of my grief, and causing my well to overflow with sweeter, life giving waters instead.  They quench my thirst and give me strength for my new journey.  I realize now that it had to be my choice to travel new roads.  I do so with wonder, carrying that sense of adventure from my childhood with me in my heart.

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