I stand on the high ground, and it hurts.
Up here there is no guru but my eternal doubts,
and there is no shelter where survivors dare not settle.
I climbed to this peak, reluctant, and desperate,
flooded from a capricious valley.
My heart is expanded and tender, blood
thumps in my ears, my legs
have struggled to carry me, my arms
hurt from straining to reach out and fingers
are grazed from grasping hard at rare and rough hand-holds.
And yet …
through my ragged breathing
I feel it,
I hear it,
the still beauty and overwhelming relief of peace.
From this lonely place I see as I have never seen before.
How one stream connects to another, to another,
to a river, and out to the ocean.
That one swollen river down there which nearly drowned me,
now I understand
why it did what it did.
I can see how the water can only persist in
following the landscape of yesterday. Hah!
I can even see lush meadows behind the dark forest
where – back when I had believed the lies –
there were only badlands to be found.
I can’t go there now,
but at least I see,
and I understand.
I shall not be fooled again.
Oh, it is a sight to feed my soul. Though
I still know that the wolves run,
and the river will flood,
now I can walk safely.
I will walk with fear,
but never in dread.
And the fear will be
only the wariness of a bird
which protects it and permits it
to sing another day.
© F. Fidelio