They are both alms and torment.
Gifts that see all the good in me. All the parts of me I’m proud of and all the times I stood taller. On my own.
They curse me, a burden I shoulder, when they bear witness to every shameful moment of weakness. All the times I lashed out in anger or curled inward, shattered and small.
They are hands locked in prayer. Tense with wanting.
They crawl to me, like a man adrift in a desert begging to sip from my palms.
They seep into the shadows of my life . . . and become a beacon.
When I am most fearful, I look up and find them, reaching for me. Ever steady. Large, rounded pools welcoming me to take shelter at their sandy shores and lie beneath a bank of trees that offer a quiet, calming susurrus in which to take comfort.
They offer a flame by which to warm my hands. A mug of cocoa over which I can huddle, my back turned to any storm that lashes icy tentacles across my weary shoulders.
Questions rumble through their depths.
Patience rises to their earthy surface. Tiny tendrils, strong and true, turned toward the sun.
Turned toward me.