By Anna Walker
She called to me many times over the years of my life, I now know. Sometimes, softly through a magnolia scented summer breeze: “Come to me.” Other times, with a bit more urgency entwined in the crackling thunder and lightning of an autumn rainstorm: “Come to me.”
Sometimes over those years firmly entrenched in the vortex of adulthood –though my heart raced and my stomach tensed — my heart would venture with the curiosity of a child to ask: “Who are you?”
Through the syncopated rhythm of a jazz number on the radio or the riotous laughter of children running breathlessly through the park to be the first on the sliding board or the contented yawn of a kitten rising from a refreshing nap or the ecstatic cheers of a crowd in the football stands whose team just scored the winning touchdown, she would respond in a slow, fervent whisper: “You know who I am.”
And my mind would leap back from the certainty in her tone, wanting to be left alone to return its attention back to the Life then known — the toxic life that was slowly killing whatever there was of whom ever I was or thought I had to be. The Real Life of appeasing and pleasing and pardon my loud sneezing of no boat rocking or door knocking or entertaining shocking. Of planning and solving just keep those dreams dissolving. Of achieving and weaving and maintaining the self-deceiving. Of pinching each dollar and choking back the holler. Of managing the time while forgetting how to rhyme. Of to-do lists and tasks and wearing the right masks.
But the more my mind resisted Her voice, the more my heart leaned toward it. Yearning for Her to speak more and daring, through tears, to ask: ” Why are you calling me?” To which She responded in a tone both light with laughter and heavy with longing: “We’re calling each other….”
So, the time came three years ago when the pull grew even stronger and we could wait no longer. Storm clouds were brewing in life’s orange and purple sky, ripping from my reeling mind one anxious word: “Why?”
And my racing heart, enchanted by the uncertainty of it all, responded to my troubled mind: “Because you do or die.”
Then, She spoke more distinctly than ever before: “Come to me. ”
I left everything that was familiar to begin the journey to meet Her. Then the tsunami hit my life. The violent waves of voices demanding status-quo. The shrieking, condemning shouts of how the hell dare you to go? But my mind joined hands with my heart and determined to brave the furor together. The winds roared and the life once real shattered from the force. I looked around in the midst of the devastation — not certain where I was, where I was going, or what was to come next.
Then I heard Her. With a sigh of relief and a voice filled with sparkling admiration: “Here you are. Here I am.”
As I looked up through the rubble of the Life once known, my mind and heart demanded in unison: “Who are you?!”
Lifting me up with her outreached hands, she gathered my trembling body in her arms and whispered in my ear: ” You know.”
Enveloped in that tight embrace, I let her tantalizing fragrance of faith, determination, and love fill the soul of my senses, and I responded: “Yes. I do. I think I always have. Thank you for waiting for me.”
Wiping tears of joy away, she laughed. There was nothing else to do. I had lived as though it were a matter of “if” I’d find myself, when in truth, it was just when.
Image: Aspen Plummer