A Story of Memories and Today
Just in Time for the Holidays
To no one in particular, I voiced this dirge – this melancholy refrain which burdened my heart and relentlessly tore at my soul:
“If there is any Good – any Love – or strength in Truth, come into my heart this morning. Fill me and wipe away all of the empty echoes of the past - where voices of children rang out, when we were all under one roof, when I was strong, and I knew which path to take - when I could fix what hurt, and a simple hug and kiss made it all better............ Come!”, I appealed to the sky above. “Come into my heart this morning. I am too tired to hope they will all come home - that there will be a day when all sadness has faded, and when mistakes are past - when wrongs are undone......... The scars seem as bad as fresh wounds. Hope is dim, and I have grown feeble. Will they ever come home? Some of the mistakes are mine, and some of the blame is mine, though I never meant for it to be so. From a broken woman worn out and consumed by what I cannot erase - I used to be sure that all would work out, that good would prevail, and that no one would be lost............ But here I am, calling them home, with no answer.......... I hear my own voice calling out for the children who are gone........... It seems so bitter now........... Even if they find their way, even if they WANTED to come home, how will the years that are gone, be made up for?
Is there such a thing as a second chance – or a third or fourth? I watched the chickens that were oblivious to my troubles, scratching around in their pen. I loved these birds that did not see beyond the worm just swallowed, or past the brief skirmish which revealed the pecking order. I gave them names. I had watched them hatch from their eggs and fight for freedom from the once safe shell that was a barrier to the world around. When the time came – somehow they knew when to engage in the struggle that was necessary for life. I knew I could not help in this process of birth. It had to be the chick who itself cracked the shell that bound them and broke away from the old to enter the new.
All they would ever know was the coop within the yard where they would spend their lives, enjoying the safety I had provided them. Brief battles between hens and one rooster.............. and he crowing his pride in all that was his.
I have always known that children are like chickens; living out the moment, not concerned with tomorrow. They enjoy the love of the mother hen who calls to her chicks when the shadow of the hawk overhead foretells something dreadful. They obediently run to her, snuggling in close beneath her wings until the danger has passed. The top hen calls out her victories over the lesser hens, and so their battles go.....
I am not a chicken, and my children are not chicks. And they are no longer within range of my voice. But old habits die hard. Forever linked with my kids, I sometimes sense danger and do sound the alarm even from a distance.
The yard is provided by me, as is the chicken coop. Their food is provided by me, and I oversee the relationships between them making sure there is harmony within.
As I am pondering all of this, I begin to imagine that I am perhaps more like a chicken than I think. Although my life has been painful at times and not at all easy, it has been a home for me. I have been protected from some things evil – much that is evil. And there have also been good things – uneventful things.
Twenty two years ago, I began to peck at my shell. Somehow I knew to hope for a better life – that it was time to leave one and enter another. I have broken down impossible walls and pierced through hard places so that I have glimpses of Goodness, Truth and Love.
My shell is Parkinson's Disease. In my battle against it, I must wage my war alone. I find my strength as I battle. I grow and get closer and closer to leaving the pieces and remnants of this shell behind. I know that on the other side of this broken shell, there is Love, Goodness and Truth. But in all honesty, I must admit that when the shell was whole, it too was good. Though I would not have chosen it, there was safety and room to grow – protection from what I was not ready to face.
PD has marked out the boundary lines around me and kept me within certain perameters, for reasons I do not know. But I don't have to know. Goodness, Love and Truth have protected me, and helped to shape me. My shell would not have suited you, nor yours mine. If you look and are willing to see, you will come to the same conclusion. That you are not alone, and you do have what you need to become who you were born to be. When it is the right time, you will break through the last and final piece of eggshell. Grow now where you have been planted. Don't struggle using up all your strength for battles that do not need to be fought. Trust the owner of the chicken coop! He is God, and He is Love. He does not give you an easy birth, but one that will take you from Hope to Love............