Saturday, 28 May 2016

The Embrace

The early morning sun breaks through a chink in the curtains and lies heavily on my eyes. The urge to hide is unbearably strong. In here, I’m warm and safe from the trials of the world. Nothing is lurking among the crinkles of my duvet to bring me sadness, or pain, or disappointment. Is it any wonder we run here when we are sick, when we’re in need of blessed rest, allowing our bodies repair the wounds of flesh and soul.  I feel the embrace of goose feathers and surrender myself for a moment.

In the end, I crack my eyes and languidly push away the covers. I draw the curtains aside and let the daylight flood my room. Out there, the world is waiting for me and I feel a surge of mixed emotions.   

Beyond this glass lies the unknown. Countless opportunities for anger, sadness, strife and trouble. Oh yes, there have been fleeting moments of bliss, moments of unbridled joy, but what is left when they pass?  A gaping hole is what. One which seems to linger endlessly.  Joy is a magnificent serpent, a wonder until you feel the prick of its fangs. Why would you try and stroke that particular viper if you’ve been bitten already?  

The answer is life.
Life is our most precious possession, precisely because nobody can say how long it will last or what it might bring. Yes it’s tempting to take the safest road, the one that assures no upset is coming our way. But that is an empty road to travel.

By contrast there are paths which reach for the sky. Tracks which tend to be narrow and filled with pot holes. Those routes take work and bravery to attempt. To climb a mountain you must endure the occasional stone in your boot, or scraped knees a plenty, but the feeling of reaching the summit is heaven.
Sadly we can’t stay perched upon that point forever. Eventually we must begin the climb back down.

So, as I look on a breaking day, a precious few hours of life, I refuse to morn for summits past. I straighten my back and embrace the journey ahead. By the time the sun sets on this day I may have found a new mountain to challenge or even be gazing fondly at a well-remembered view. I refuse to fear the unknown, I will not be beaten by self-pity or angst. No turned ankle or winter squall will stop me, for the journey is the true gift, not the destination.

Today is all there may be.  Tomorrow is never guaranteed.