If I were to describe my life, I would say imagine a baby. Take the baby and blindfold her, gag her, and tie her up in the tightest cords. Then take the baby and put her in a square maze then put the maze inside a large box and cover it with a top. Now take the box and bury it in the ground. Six feet deep in a pit is good. Now above the box, close a lid and lock it.
Yes, this is how I would describe my life so far.
And as an infant, I wriggled my fingers so hard, so fast that the binds loosened. My fingers fumbled to my mouth and removed the gag. Next was the blindfold.
It felt good. It was my first taste of freedom.
But I couldn’t see. Everything was black, but it was better.
I moved around the maze, crawling on my knees. Circles, lots of circles, crawling day and night in the same direction. I felt the walls of the maze, I learned them, memorized them. I knew there was a way out and I wouldn’t give up.
It felt good to move, to use my voice and open my eyes, even if there was no light.
Then one day, I felt it. An entrance in, an exit out.
I had my voice, my eyes, and I could crawl.
I was out of the maze, but not free.
I was still in the box.
Moving around I could feel the walls of the box. It was bigger, now I could stand. Bracing myself against a wall for support, I slowly stood up for the first time. It felt powerful. I was powerful.
Though I was trapped, I was grateful. Every victory no matter how small was greater than the captivity before.
I could walk, the maze was gone, and if I squinted hard enough, I could see the tiniest slivers of light filtering in, nothing bright, just enough to know that light existed. The light was outside the box and I needed to get to it.
I would stand and reach the light.
One day I realized the way out of the box wasn’t by feeling the sides and walking along the edge.
The way out was where the light came in. The way out was up.
I stood and pushed with all my might and the top lifted. The top of the box opened. I climbed and tumbled out of the box and into a pit.
I could smell the earth, feel it sliding through my fingers, my toes. There was more light now. Not much, but more than before. I craved the light. I knew I would reach it.
I had never felt the earth before. I stood and felt worms crawl between my toes. I wasn’t scared, I giggled. This new experience comforted me. I wasn’t alone. Even in this pit, even on this earth. I wasn’t alone. I had accomplished so much.
I had freed myself from the bonds, the gag, the blindfold. I crawled, I stood up, I walked. I found my way out of the maze and out of the box.
Life had more dimensions than what I felt on my hands and knees or shaky feet. I learned how to stand, how to walk, how to push my way to the top.
Even if the escape led to the pit.
I had accomplished so much.
I’ve accomplished so much.
I won’t stay in the ground.
You see, this is my life so far.
And I am still buried.
I am still trapped.
But there is more light.
I look up and I can see the lid above me.
And I know that if I push hard enough…
If I can get the strength to keep climbing the walls of this pit…if I dig my fingers deep into this earth, I will find roots.
The roots of ancient trees that will support me.
And I will hold on for dear life, supported, embraced, clinging on for my life, and I will rise.
They will lift me up to the top of this pit and I will push open that lid…
And when I do…
The glorious light of both night and day will be mine.
The sun will shine on my face.
I will smell the scent of fresh rain
And feel the breeze against my skin for the first time
My eyes will burn with the light of the sun, but I won’t mind.
I may even prefer the canopy of stars because it will be more familiar.
But that’s okay…
In time I will embrace the bright light of day.
I won’t be free…
No, not yet.
You see, I will be on foreign terrain. A world that is mine to explore, yet I will be lost. This world is unfamiliar to me. I don’t know which way to go.
But I won’t care. I will run in any direction I feel like it.
I will go wherever I want.
No one will stop me.
I will run.
I crawled, I walked, I stood, I climbed, and when I push open that lid I am going to run fast into the streaming sunlight.
I will embrace life, it’s beauty, it’s sunsets, its clouds, it’s rain, it’s blooming flowers…
I will run fast and never stop…
Until I am home.
I will run with a fiery passion because there are no binds that will hold me. I will run and shout because there are no gags that will quiet me. I will run with wide-eyed wonder because there is no blindfold that will stop me. I will run and skip because no maze will confound me.
I will run because no pit will contain me.
I will run because no lid will trap me.
I will run because I will never be so lost that I will not be found.
I will run
I will be free.