I have never been to war to fight for freedom.
But I have crossed onto foreign soil
to take a stand.
I have never walked in your shoes
or experienced what you have.
But I have walked in mine.
I have not seen for my own eyes
the devastation of what you have.
But I have seen pictures that attempt to capture history.
I can tell you this…
You are brave.
You have walked or been carried.
You may feel so much grief that it grips
you unexpectedly in moment of great distress.
You may do your best to try and not see
the images playing reruns in your mind
yet they still may only appear more vivid
in the darkness of night.
You are alive. Breathing.
They taught you.
To be strong.
To keep your emotions in check.
Now only to be encouraged to share and feel all that seems so hard to reach.
Why am I alive?
Why not me instead of him or her?
Would I be better off dead then here right now feeling half alive?
Seeing helplessness in the mirror.
Reflected back in another eyes.
Can you know freedom that you have fought for us to celebrate?
How could She begin to possibly understand
or write about something that may bring hope or offer insight… when the furthest She has ever been away from home by HerSelf was 700 miles?
She does know of heart ache and loss.
Of loosing people close to Her due to accidents and sickness. Old age.
Of fighting personal battles in life with courage.
She has seen the devastation of cancer.
The ravages of a disease eating away at Her papa’s once handsome face.
She has Her own hidden emotional scars of feeling inadequate and afraid.
Feeling deep empathy for others that at times She cannot separate from HerSelf.
Yet She sits here in the bright morning sunlight.
The song of birds outside Her window.
How does this bring hope? Offer insight?
Through wielding of Her pencil as it etches its way across the page.
Why is She sitting here alone?
With a thought so distant from what She woke up with.
To write with such conviction
on a topic she feels strangely drawn to…
The long held sorrow that carries itself within you for a love, a life you will never fully know again.
Yet I write. As if I know first hand the battle scars you carry buried deep inside your soul. Darkening your spirit of trust. I applaud your bravery…
To take another breathe.
To take another step however painful.
To take another chance.
Thank you for your courageous bravery.
High Five to you Freedom Warrior!
Revised excerpt from Trusting Warrior
Te’ walking along the Klickitat Trail, WA