Once upon a time, there was a young girl finding her way in a world which didn’t care to show her how.
But her father told her how it was. How to be just so. How to do it right. How to strive. How to win. How to be certain and sure.
Her mother didn’t say much at all; which was a relief amidst her father’s noise, but left her blind in navigating the confusion of her mind.
Thus, she followed in her father’s footsteps for a very long time…
Until she forgot her own feet,
her own heart,
her own beat;
And she grew very, very tired.
So tired, in fact, that she wanted to leap off a cliff;
no longer could she bare
that didn’t lead…
In a final act of desperation, she turned off her father’s path, in the hope of finding her own.
There she found herself in deep, dark wood.
With loud noises,
And terrifying visions.
She turned back many times, thinking it better to be certain, like her father, than lost and alone; but each time she stepped back onto his path, she became ill, reminding her that His way wasn’t Her’s.
How did she ever find her own?
Little by little…
following the tiniest breadcrumbs
of that which brought her
At first, she would leap ahead, like she had on her father’s path, letting her mind lead–with lists and plans and outcomes and designs. But soon enough she’d trip and fall on her face, until she realized that His way came from the outside, while Hers came from… Within.
There would be no leaping ahead, no forcing, no winning, no shaming self into “just so.” There was only “what is” and witnessing and gentleness and so.
By and by her father’s rules no longer applied…
Would she win?
Was she right?
Was she just so?
He had His path, and she had Hers. No matter that he once directed the entire show.
Because even that wasn’t true. Which was something she learned on her grandmother’s lap many, many moons ago.
It was a night much like tonight when she couldn’t sleep for anticipation.
She tip-toed down the stairs, seeking comfort, and to her surprise wasn’t met with scolding or shooing, but with sweet understanding…
“Can’t sleep?” the Queen said. “Come into the kitchen and I’ll fix you some warm milk.”
And she did. She sat down on Queen’s lap and sipped… safe and held and known.
Until her father appeared.
A 6 foot 4 giant, bellowing from the doorway:
“Kelly ANN! WHAT are you doing out of bed!”
Her body jolted with familiar fear, but the Queen only pulled her closer, locking eyes with the giant, saying just as firmly:
“She’s with me, Bob.”
And so I am.
With warm milk.
Writing this story.