*For Rachael, with thanks for the joy you bring and the lessons you taught me. Happy Birthday!
I’m wandering through the forest.
I can hear the whisper of the trees
and the moon is shining down upon me.
Following it, I find myself
at a pool of water and when I look
down upon it, I’m entranced
by what I can see within.
It is as if there is a slideshow
within the water that replays
every memory that is filled
with shadows. I watch
for a few moments and I can see
each time I was hurt or hid
in the dark, waiting for my wounds
to heal. I begin to reach downwards
towards the water, wondering if
the water will be cold to the touch,
when a voice speaks behind me.
“Why are you doing that?”
I turn to look, and I see the outline
of a woman and she is smiling at me.
Her entire form is made of light,
as if she contained a comet or a star
within herself, or she was a beam of light
given physical form.
“What will happen if I do?”
I ask her. I’m not sure
what makes me ask this.
She walks towards me,
each step leaving behind
a footprint that is filled with light.
As she comes closer to me,
I can feel her warmth
and I know that her light
comes from within. She puts a hand
on my arm and some of that warmth
runs through me. The woman looks
downward at the water and motions
at the different parts of me
that swim underneath the waters surface.
“It’s not good to hold on to old memories,”
She tells me, bending slightly to gently
touch the water. I watch as light flows
from her touch, casting the shadows
into a different light so that
rather than looking upon water
filled with pain, I am instead looking
upon moments of joy. I gaze
into the water, remembering those times.
“Sometimes, you have to make new ones,”
She says, her voice kind and wise.
“And sometimes, we need to chase away the dark,
so that we can remember the joy.”
She begins to walk away from me,
back towards the trees that hold secrets and sounds.
I call out to her.
“Where can I find this light?” I ask,
my voice unsure of itself.
“How will I chase away the dark?”
Turning back to me, I can see the outline
of her smile. She comes back to me
and gently places a hand on my chest.
“It’s already within you, waiting to shine.”
She walks away from me this time,
letting the trees claim her.
I look up towards the moon
and I am not surprised to see it
shining even brighter