The Shore of Forgiveness

All of us have that one event which lies dormant and endangers the harbor of our soul. That one defining moment where the same series of words, people, expressions and pain rip open and become real and fleshy again. It's recurrences as often as the moon and tides or as random as a storm that blows in on a Sunday afternoon.

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The memories crawl out of the shadows and crowd the safeness of your peace. The windows and doors to your soul slam shut. You throw up a barrier you forgot you had. The pain is new again, reincarnate, and challenges your forgiveness. But you haven't forgiven. Not really.


The winds howl, branches break, rain and tears fall and your heart splits open and exposes all the torture again. The heat in your face. The anger in your chest. The pricks of distrust pressing through your skin. Splinters of pain. Your body reacts. Once more, you are surviving another person's cruelty.

The house where my soul lives won't bear close inspection. On days where sea foam bubbles on the edges of the shore and the clouds are gray and form wrinkles, circling the sun making a whale eye, heavy and tired. The diffused light seems to pity me. It watches me make the best of the cold day and then turns away when I’m not making the best of it at all. I exist. I've forgotten how the sun once flushed my pale skin. The ocean's spray licks at my wounds and opens them again. The waves bring in the tide of useless emotions. A churning storm off the coast. I can't see the storm, but I know it's coming. The scent of seawater mixed with rotting reed blows acrid in my nostrils. I am not a lighthouse but my warning lights are at the ready.

On the rare sunny days, in the house where my soul lives, everything seems bright and airy. Nearly cheerful but not quite. There are open windows where the wind can dance with the gossamer sheers. The weathered door frames and peeling paint give the place charm. My soul drifts freely through the eyes of the house with endless views. Dreamy, secluded privacy nudged up next to the ocean and the cliffs. Adventure just over there - where happiness is easy.  Daring. Where for only a moment you think - she's made it. She's happy. She's living the life she wanted.

But the days turn cold and the house looks barren. She’s closed up for the season, dreary, bleak and unwelcoming. Squeaky metal fences and porch swing moans with no one in it. The house's solitude no longer has charm. The structure becomes a place someone once loved. It’s safer to remain exposed to the elements - not humans. Weather and rugged landscape is more forgiving than people. Maybe even me.

But there will always be beauty and fragrance when the wind changes direction. Hope and the gift of lightness remain in spite of my best efforts to shove it all away. I’ve packed boxes stuffed with feelings and pain and now they sit covered with glistening dust. A honeysuckle vine grows on the fence of a junkyard - sweet against what’s forgotten.