The major reason for returning to Canada is that this is where family is. I could talk about my beautiful home, large garden, clean air and everything else that would make for excellent reasons to live here on the Canadian prairies, but the truth is, most places on this earth would make for excellent places to build and keep a home. What ensures that I return to these mid-western plains is the fact that I have children and grandchildren living here. There is nothing on earth that is more important than relationship with those who love you and those whom you love. Well, that isn’t quite the truth. The primary relationship that must be nourished is the relationship with oneself.
The people we love deserve more from us than we usually can give them, for most of us have barricaded a significant part of our heart behind protective walls. With what is left of our hearts to share with others is given without condition to those we love. It might appear to others that we don’t give enough and thus be judged as not really caring, rather we become judged as cold and selfish. We look at the damage we have done with our relationships and join the others in condemning ourselves and we sink deeper into the need to protect ourselves as a matter of psychic survival. Some fail and terminate their lives or get lost in permanent darkness of self-abuse. I know, I lived this darkness for too long, the darkness of believing I was too defective to be worthy of love and so punished myself, locked my heart away from myself so that the compassion I so easily gave away to others could not be given to myself, to the child within me that life experiences had led to the child building mental barriers to protect himself from the outer world that seemed determined to destroy.
One of the practices I adopted to breech these protective walls around my heart was naturism. I had to find a small crack in the armour around my heart, that crack was my physical body. When sunshine fills my body with warmth as it bathes my skin, I found that I was able to breathe deeper and loosen a little bit, the ties that bound my heart. Over time, it has been the courage to give myself time and space for this communion between the universe and the breathing pulse of my heart, which has eroded enough of the barriers that I can now begin to care for the inner, frightened child. I can now show compassion for him, and in turn for the adult behind whom he had been hidden.
And this, becomes the foundation of today’s poem.
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Hidden In Depths And Darkness
Hidden in depths and darkness, a child cowers
eyes looking out at the world, a world filtered by
the child’s fears, always seeing ghosts and demons
who must not be allowed to know the child is there
hidden behind so many masks, so many layers of
half-truths that in order to reach the child, one
would need to make a journey that was a labyrinth
with distractions and false trails.
The child is a night child hidden in the darkness
a child tentatively responsive to the faint light
of a moon reflected in the beneath which he hides.
The child knows that on the other side of the
pool of water is another world that others live in
a world where there are smiles and light – a light
which would give warmth, but also expose him
leaving him once again vulnerable to the darkness
that would devour him if he stopped hiding.
Tired with too many years of denial, the weight
of too many masks and disguises, the barrier
between that inner child and the sunshine of
the world from which he has been hiding, begins
to crack allowing a strange ray of warmth to
begin thawing the ice, bringing light into darkness
inviting this frightened child to re-emerge
into that outer world and heal.
2014 04 14 – Elrose, House of White