Sheri Walters (Richmond, VA)
For the greater part of my life, my family migrated from city to city, forever portraying the role of the unwanted band of Gypsies, the ones who always searched for that place to belong. We were always on the move, always out of touch with life and nature.
Days and years would pass. Memories of cities and events would intertwine and mingle until they were almost inseparable; just one long remembrance. Yet there is one recollection that remains ever vigilant to my reminiscence.
I have always been one that preferred to be aloof and emotionless. I have never been comfortable with emotions and more often than not, I avoided them. In honesty, I never allowed myself to experience true emotion. I would reap the proverbial seed before it could be sown, allowing myself only the ghost of an impression of what would have been. Yet there would be one event in my life that would change all of this.
During my junior year of high school, I had acquired two very close friends. They were dear to me because they accepted me for what I was, or in another instance, for what I wasn't. We would often discuss making a trip to visit one of their Grandparents that lived in a small regressive town in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. And hiking in the mountains was our ulterior motive. But our chance to make our sojourn did not arrive until many years later.
We finally managed to make our 'pilgrimage' to pay homage to the Great Blues. We set forth and journeyed our separate ways, for it was a time of solitude and recollection. And I shall never forget that day, for on that day, I felt life.
I had wandered, unintentionally, into a small valley that had been formed by the merging of three smaller mountains. Two riveting streams coursed down the walls of the mountains to eventually intertwine and follow along the valley floor. Ancient oaks towered above the lush foliage, stretching their majestic arms to the Heavens. The air was filled with the cry of fauna. Never before had I encountered beauty of such magnitude, and I was caught off guard. It tore my life-long barriers asunder and left me abased, open to all that I had forbidden. I was trapped in a euphoria of emotion. Emotion that did not stop, nor did I really want it to. I was literally trapped in a vision of omniscience.
In the span of that day, I experienced life as emotion. I felt the essence of every tree, every stone, every creature.... everything. And for once, I felt as though I belonged. I felt a part of the creative forces that flowed around me, but most of all, I felt. I experienced emotion that I never knew existed. I had become one with Gaia and existed in free form. For on that day of my solitude, I experienced things that most will never know exist. For on that day, I stood as the Great Mother. I had learned the greater love of all things, I cared.
Until that day, my life had been forlorn and hopeless. In the past I existed indifferently, never knowing nor caring about my own existence. I played life as a pawn, always waiting for a higher intelligence to make my next move. Always waiting for my purpose to be announced. Always in apathy.
But one single vision left me open and vulnerable. A new consciousness had been revealed unto me. I learned to live with my emotions instead of forbidding the, opening new awarenesses and new ideas. Yes, I was alive, and I had changed.
Yet change is held in balance, for Justice carries a double-edged blade. I had experienced rapture in such a way that where as before I harbored no emotion, now my emotions reign free. I now know the joy and awe of a raven's flight, but I also know the sorrow of love never expressed. My emotions are uncontained and I have yet to gain control of them. I am often forced, under dire duress, to suppress them, therefore leaving the impression of being cold and callous, when the inverse is true.
And once again Justice swings Her sword, for my eyes are now the mirror of the self and hold all truth, causing me to avert my gaze lest my deepest feelings become known, when my deepest desire is to be unknown.
Nevertheless, there is many a day that the longings of the whispering winds caress my body, and my spirit, and return my thoughts to my silent reveries of that day; arousing a hunger to be free to express all that I feel and endure. Leaving me to ponder over the past, the present, and the future. Leaving me to ponder those subtle winds that are ever calling, ever leading me on. Leaving me to ponder change.
Comments about this poem (Awakening (Prose) by Sheri Walters )
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