Sunday, October 22, 2017

Falling Leaves

Falling leaves

She stares out the window, the glass protecting her from the ebb and flow of the wind as it knocks the leaves from the trees. It swirls them around, like her life, moved by an invisible force that isn't good or bad, it just is. 

Her mind isn't particularly on the leaves falling and floating; she is considering her life and the circumstances which have brought her to this point, and the tears that fall like the leaves are silent. 

She wishes things could be simple, like the leaves. They come, green and lovely in the spring, a promise of new life with a hint of summer in their scent. Then, at the appropriate time, they begin their change to the colors of autumn, yellows, reds and browns. Eventually the wind comes and they fall down, down, only to be taken in by the ground to nourish the very tree they came from so new leaves can grow again next spring.

It's all so uncomplicated, so orderly, so beautiful. She cannot say the same of her own life. Her childhood was filled with the knowledge of not being wanted or loved, that no matter what she did it would not be good enough. Her adult life consisted of trying to live the way she had been taught in Sunday School, only to fail time and again, never knowing why she wasn't allowed to be normal. Now as she grows older and finds out her brain has physically failed her, she realizes nothing will ever be normal.

She cannot see beyond this. This is her existence, the chaos. The past haunts her, the mistakes of a life attempted and failed, of a marriage full of conflict and children who succeed in spite of their upbringing, better than she did. It haunts her, the ghosts of people she has broken, worn them out by using them to try to be like them, only a few of them hanging on because of a love she will never fully understand or even feel.

She sits in church, knowing she needs to be there, knowing all the right words and all the right things. Yet when the pastor asks if there is anyone there who doesn't fully believe God loves them, she gasps silently, hangs her head and lets the tears fall. God is real, God is good, God is love but her marred mind will never allow her to accept that completely. 

The leaves fall and die; she cannot because that would be a pointless end to a seemingly pointless life and she is afraid of the eternal consequences if she takes matters into her own hands. Somewhere, somehow she knows God is watching. Is he a policeman, waiting to catch her out? Is he a judge, waiting to pass sentence? Is he a loving Father, something she has searched for her entire life and has yet to find? She does not know the true answers, only the words she has learned and repeated over and over. 

Is it enough for her to know these things? No, because it's never enough. It's never good enough. It just is and the daily, hourly, minute-by-minute struggle that not even the medications can help wear her down until all she can do is sit and stare out the window at the leaves falling. 

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