At the time, my job required me to spend every other week in the wilderness. The previous two winters, I lived outdoors. It’s a powerful experience, but I just didn’t want to do it anymore. So I took the winter off of work and sought a warmer climate. Australian summer.
It’s dark. The wind rustles in the trees over head. The light from the fire glows upon the twelve faces sitting in a circle. All women. All tired from a long day in the wilderness. All tired from their heavy burdens. Some are fiddling with sticks in the dirt. Eyes cast downward. Some are gazing into the fire, watching sparks crackle and vanish into the night sky like fireflies. Some are looking into the eyes of the girl who is speaking. She’s voicing her fears, her hopes, her deepest thoughts.
It sat baking in the early summer heat as I said my final farewells.
Goodbye to my family.
Goodbye to the little town I never really fit in with.
Goodbye to the memories both sweet and saddening.
I put both hands on the steering wheel of that little black car, knuckles white. It was my saving grace. It was my chariot of freedom. I put my foot on the gas pedal. And as I drove away,Continue reading “The First Step”
Sixteen years of age, long brown hair, big brown eyes. Innocence stolen. Her eyes reveal pain. They reveal helplessness. She wants to give up.
She’s seated on the front stoop of a beautiful old farmhouse surrounded by the Amish heartland in all directions. Mason jar in hand, eyes glazed, she watches as dusk falls over the corn fields. She sees the sky fade from blue, to yellow and pink with little conviction. She feels numb.