Winter Nights

It was a bitter cold day in the depth of the winter months. The grass outside the window was veiled in a sprinkled frosting of snow. Nothing seemed to move, even the wind appeared frozen in its tracks, and there was silence throughout the neighbouring woods.

Sitting inside by the picture frame window, admiring the landscape painted by the hand of God, I warm myself against the crackling log wood fire. I love these nights, all alone, with only my thoughts and my words for company.

For as far back as I can remember I have been coming here to this same log cabin, in this same forest, every winter of every year. I spend the cold days snuggled up warm, I ponder upon the feats of year left behind, and the challenges of the year ahead. And then, I return to the real world ready to face the tests my Lord places before me.

Now its different, I feel more at home here than ever before, I have no desire to return to the world of madness that awaits me so eagerly. I have lived a full life, maybe not by my years, but since when was time ever a friend of mine. My body holds both the emotional and physical wounds of a battle with life, of a refusal to conform, scars from the continual breaking of moulds which persist in trying to hold me down.

Here I am free, there are no expectations, no hearts to break, no rules to show my disdain of. But still there is something, the very essence of my presence within this cabin in the depths of the woodland, year after year, has become too routine for my liking. I am not fond of these plans, structures and establishments that if not created for us, we create for ourselves to help us to find our place in this void. I prefer to accept that I have no place here, and that I and others like me will always be frowned upon for our lack of regard for the so-called norms of society.

It dawns upon me, I too have fallen prey to this vicious cycle of conformity, maybe after so many years of rebellion it is my only option now, but I will not lay down without a fight, I will not sacrifice the essential values that have held me in such good stead.

I shake my head in an attempt to clear from it these sacrilegious thoughts, it is only then that I notice how the tears have wet and softened my face, the view from the window seems all the more beautiful through my tearful eyes, the dark depths of the forest seem to call to me, their invitation echoes through the night sky, calling me to the only true freedom from man and his systems, there is only one way for me now, the way of the nomad, the Bedouin, the traveller, the stranger….

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