You stand under a bridge.
An old cottonwood tree throws off tiny clouds of cotton that parachute down and gather in pools.
The light creeps closer, closer to the edge of your toes.
From your spot in the shadow, the strength of the sunlight warms the air to a shimmer, and you smell the combination of dust and grass.
Will you step out from the darkness and take the chance of being exposed
to the light,
to the risk,
to being seen?
You toe the line of light, and wonder how much further it will come. You resist the way it invades your safety, forces the decision between moving forward and retreat.
The sun passes overhead, the day draws out and darkness slowly returns, and from your place of shelter you feel the moisture seep from the ground, feel it fill the air with coolness and relief.
Will you choose to trust that the sun will return?
Does the darkness hold
Will tomorrow bring hope or destruction?
You can choose — hope, joy, faith, belief in goodness — these can all be plucked out of the air, as cottonwood fluff can be chased and captured.
Even in the night, after you skinnied up that nearby tree, you can trust there are not jackals circling beneath it.
But in those times when there are jackals, you can trust that your high branch will keep you safe from the teeth and claws, even as you keep your eyes open all night long.
Do you find it difficult to hope in the face of hopelessness? How do you approach risk? What areas of your life might there actually be a choice — even in your own attitude toward the situation — where it seems there is none?
This is a post written alongside lots of other people who participate in Five Minute Friday through Lisa-jo Baker. She gives a word prompt, you set your
timer and write for five minutes flat. No editing (okay, I read over mine and do spellcheck it — is that cheating??), no self-criticizing, just go for it. You can read more posts and find out more at http://lisajobaker.com . And as always, thank you for coming by and reading today!
UPDATE: In an interesting convergence, the Creative Blog Hop was focused on the word “choices” so I decided to include this post there. If this is your first time coming by the blog, thank you for reading!