They took me to a densely wooded park whose magic could not be seen from the parking lot. The sun was shining and nearly every inch of sky had been overtaken by the peaks of trees one could only assume stood proud at the strength and health maintained at their age. Squinting my eyes to meet the suns shine a reflection redirected my gaze and my eyes fell upon a hidden waterfall, not hidden by man’s blueprints but by its own.
My camera was in my pocket but each of them took one of my hands to lead me deeper into this mystical place where we seemed the only in attendance. Anxiety was frantic in my mind leaving nothing to lighten the growing heaviness in my heart as we walked in silence for several hundred feet before my father let my hand go. My step-mother held my other hand tighter and urged me to walk further along side her.
This was day four of my four day visit to meet the man assigned to be my worldly father. I’d arrived dressed in childlike fear hidden beneath an armor of cold self-sufficiency to seek answers because my heart was without composure and in its concealment forgot its language so could not express how much being in their presence hurt because it simply wanted to be held, how words had no right to accompany us in the place they’d taken me or how a moment of truth was enough to forgive all the scrapes and beatings he was not there to prevent or bandaid.
My step-mother gave me reasons my father did not and her voice carried staged words in cadence to Mr. Bojangles as alongside her I walked in silence not letting go of her hand and not looking into her eyes which were transfixed on the ground. It was there that her sadness flowed through me as the pain of reason was expressed to avoid the judgement of truth and the anxiety from rehearsing was set free.
The child in me loved her for the purposed kindness while the girl in me continued mourning for truth as the woman released her hand to hug and console her as she cried. She and I never did speak again after that day, not because my pain remained but because hers had been released and replaced with loving intent.
The only pictures that remain from that day are those in my mind because the camera never left my pocket and between that day and now a person entered my life who was unexpectedly given the assignment of keeping my heart as I was assigned the task of keeping his.
This memory reminds me of him not for moments of sadness but for those of strength because had he not held my hands then my words may have forever remain concealed. Had he not walked alongside me to lift my face from the direction of the ground to focus on truths before me then my armor may never have been removed. Had he not let me seek truth in silence then the child within may never have stopped consoling others so that she herself could cry. Had he not shown me his genius or passionate creativity then the girl within may have let go of her childlike nature.
Had he not revealed inner disquietudes through external expression then the woman within may never have known the beauty in extolling the virtues of love using the natural mineral brushes of the mind to magnify the many places that bodies can play with colors, textures and sensuality of the spirit.
Had the shadows within my heart not direct me to the reflection of his sun then my vision may have forever remained protected by my hands that were best placed in service upon his head and heart so that light and peace be returned to him and that we be returned to us, eternal lovers who excel at dancing anywhere our feet land.