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Friday, March 29, 2013

Sword of Peace

Peering down my arm, I glance at the wounds on my hands from the recent abundance of manual labor.
The locations of the wounds are always identical, top ridge of inner palm just below the point where my fingers stretch out from my hand. Never seeming to heal completely, the repetitive insistence of their nature concerns me and why my own body never feels a need to protect itself from further harm is another aspect of deep wonderment.

Healing. A process by which something is renewed and restored to health. This process continually escapes me in my physical, emotional and spiritual walk. The wounds I have felt throughout the course of my journey are indeed reminders of the steps that I have taken and the scars from the battles that I have had to endure.
Reaching deeper into my soul each time, I have yet to uncover the source of the unsettled spirit that guides me through the waters but never allows me to bathe naked, released in full to the sanctification of the moment that could afford me this elusive perpetual solace.

Perhaps I believe in silent admission that I am deserving of the anguish and continued upheavals in my own life. Never settled to walk in peace with trust and love as my balancing allies, but instead choose the arduous path that is marred with recent razing, darkness and solemnity. Alas, I didn't choose to be here; my spirit was  summoned, commanded to return to this place. Return to the only place that I knew certain love, certain trust, certain understanding. I question the logic of this conversation always unfolding in opposition to time and reason. Always promising the path to serenity, reflections of streets of golden hues shining ever so brightly in the midst of the coldest and darkest storms I have ever realized.

Physically, I am weakened by the emotions playing on the stage forefront in my mind. Strength, still present and apparent, is harder to maintain at times, as I continue to walk forward. The proverbial walls slowing closing in, forcing me to choose. Forcing me to raise my own blade of reckoning and lay judgement to those who wait patiently in the gallows awaiting their bewildering state of execution. The steps remaining are heavy and the path truncated by the length of the journey already traversed.

I pause. Knowing the weight of the moment and the immediacy of the decision to be calculated, I breathe in slowly. I close my eyes, squinting out the last bit of the afternoon sun, and guide my right hand to my hip tracing the outline of the hilt. I roll my fingers just below the pommel and clench the weapon forcefully, bringing it to life.

As the sword is unsheathed, I raise it forward abreast of my face and tilt its blade in the sunlight; the finely crafted mirrored surface is etched with words of peace, love and comfort. I am momentarily mesmerized by its unexpected warmth and divining nature. Irony indeed for a weapon of chiseled destruction, but then a bold thought overwhelms my soul. What if....this is truly...the sword of peace? Instead of laying destruction to those who would fear its pruning and absolution of sin, what if this talisman was used to instead defeat the darkness?

The heft of the moment overwhelms me, and I fall to my knees, sobbing. Thrusting the sword with both hands into the gravel laced soil, it is buried nearly up the guard; the entire blade shrouded from sight. As I guide my hands to my face to clear the flow of tears, I notice my wounds are no longer visible. Healed perhaps by the understanding of where I am proceeding and what choices I have left to make in this life to complete the journey. I know I will one day lie in death, a victim of the sword that now lies impotently within the earthen substrate nearby. But, not today. Today, I choose the path of peace; the path of love, understanding and promise for better days.

I raise my hands to the sun, my palms illuminated and accept the healing that I have gone without for far too many sunsets. A prayer of thankfulness, hope and peace unexpectedly rolls off my tongue, and I bathe in the warmth of this moment. A moment of healing. A moment of choosing love over fear. A moment of choosing peace over darkness.

I raise to my feet slowly and smile. Better days, Andrew. Better days. I echo to myself in silence.

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