I remember one day when I was perhaps 7 years old. I had climbed up a tree and could not get down. I managed to maneuver myself partway down but in the end I found myself hanging from my hands still quite a way up. I had no strength to get purchase for my feet and my arms were shaking from the strain. I finally decided that I would need to fall and I released my grip of the branch I was hanging from.
I will forever remember the sense of freedom and letting go as I felt the branch slipping from my grip; I had made the decision to let go, and even though I hit the ground and cracked my tailbone, I still only remember the immense sense of freedom for the heartbeat that I was falling.
I had let go and there was nothing else for me to do. There was no sense of worrying what would happen because it would happen no matter what I thought. There have been very few times in my life when I have felt so free.
From deep inside you I feel the craving for the same sense of freedom; where worries promise to be vanquished, where purposes and goals are empty words; where your soul, like a leaf in the storm, whirls towards salvation at the end of the tunnel.
Let me cradle that leaf in my hands. Let me gently blow on it and laugh in delight as it whirls around my head. Let me be strong enough, vigilant enough, dependable enough, to keep it safe.
Yes, I remember the sense of freedom I glimpsed when I was a young boy.
And still, I choose to stand tall in the storm, braving thunderous lightning and sleeting snow. I choose to take your hand in mine and keep you warm.
Because every time you smile at me I glimpse that freedom in your eyes.