Today, I want to tell you a story about a little girl who was born in Wales, Great Britain in the 1930s. She lived with her family in a thatch-roofed cottage on a rocky shoreline, where they had a very simple life—moving through each day the same as the one before. There were seven children and this little girl always felt invisible, and there were days, in her fantasies, when she was invisible.
She’d stare down at the clunky brown shoes she wore and the metal braces that, although they allowed her to walk in spite of polio, often cut into her legs. Most days, she would slowly make her way down to the rugged coastline. As she stood there, looking up at the little house, she wondered what it would be like to “fit in”—to not be on the outside, to not be “different”. And, most days she cried, but her cries were silent. No one ever heard her. She was mute.
Her mother attempted communication through a sort of sign language, but with so many other children to care for, the little girl was usually alone—in her own head, dreaming her own dreams, wondering about a different reality.
She’d stand looking up at the house where she could hear the other children laughing, and see them running, aware of her solitary life—a life with very little human interaction, a life where she was the outsider looking in, a life of aloneness and pain and sadness.
One day, the little girl decided to wander closer to the water than she had ever been. She wanted to reach down and actually touch it. She wanted to be “normal”—jumping into the water, splashing, having fun. She was emboldened by a force she did not recognize. She felt fearless, guided by a desire to be “like everyone else”. She moved forward with trepidation that was drowned out by an eerie calmness.
The first few steps into the bay were challenging—her dress and braces and shoes made it tough to move, but she pushed forward. Too quickly, she was dragged under the waves. The end was near. She knew it—and in her humanness, she was afraid—but she didn’t care. She got carried out further and further until she was caught in a vortex that sucked her down. Her panicked, mute screams were never heard, of course.
I don’t know how long it took before her family realized she was gone. After all, was she ever really there?
This could be the end to a very sad story, but it’s not.
The little girl “woke up” in a very unusual place. She surveyed her surroundings. They were nothing like she had ever experienced before; they were changed. She was aware—instantly and on a spirit level—that she had changed too.
She realized that she was sitting on a bench. She glanced down; first at her dress, which did not, at all, resemble the brown shifts she wore her entire life. Then, she stared at her bare legs and feet and was amazed to see they looked different—not bent and atrophied like the ones she was familiar with. She looked up and saw children playing in gardens of flowers and beautiful trees—the sun shining down on them.
All that she ever thought was possible, was now before her. She was aware that she sat next to someone, and she knew—at the core of her being—that she sat next to God. There was no conversation—none was necessary.
She held the hand of God and hummed a tune she knew by heart, and heard, for the first time, her voice. She looked around again. The children were all different shapes and sizes and colors, and the children were all exactly the same. And, in this nirvana-like completeness, she knew that she was home.
©2017 peace full home™/intentional living
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I hope your week is peace-full,
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