My mind is a cage; the rhythm of my feet against the trail the key. I plant a sole, I turn the key a little further. A little harder. A little closer.
See that hill? That looming hill?
That’s two turns.
That deep rivet in the grass from the rains of last season? The misplaced rock? The balancing branch?
Two more turns.
Here progress can be endless. Can be.
It’s not disassociation. It isn’t focus. It’s neither but it’s both and it’s marriage and it’s flight.
Conscious allowance. Conscious nonjudgment. Conscious acceptence that here and now is where I am yet there is more if I reach the place of recognition.
What even is freedom? Is it so concrete as we define it to be? Is it absence of subjection? Is it self-power? Whom does it concern? From whom does it come? Who are we fighting?
My soles caress the uneven earth, gliding across stones and leaping across small craters. A strand of hair sticks to my brow; I swipe my bare arm across my forehead, halting a bead of sweat.
My right fist tightens as I fly to the side to avoid a large boulder, the waterbottle in my clutches exuding a small spit.
What is it to not have freedom? To be enslaved by whom? To be restricted by what? What is dependency? Liability?
I raise my knees high and dance through a stretch of long grass, tall stalks of wheat tickling against my thigh. A purple butterfly erupts from the grass in front of me, swirling around my neck and kissing my shoulder before snuggling back into an uninterrupted world.
The cicadas are loud today. With every pulse of their song the grass beneath me vibrates, oscilating my bones.
How do I hold on to this freedom? This independence? This resilience? The cage within me has been opened fully, the breeze whistling through my ponytail invites clarity of thought and instruction from the world around me.
I bounce and jostle from stone to stone, up hill and across ridge, past trees and across streams: this is home rule. This is autonomy. This is deliverance.
I observe what is around me: the steady beating of my heart, the swaying of the distance stalks in the breezy morning, the smell of crispy grains baking softly in the sunlight. I see the soft press of a deer hoof in the creek sand, the splayed grass where a fawn has laid to rest.
I take in everything that is being given to me and I find: I have no power here.
This is not my world. I am not in charge of this; I am not the leader.
I am but a functioning part of this world; I am a participant and a citizen. I am an observer and a learner and an apprentice and a responder.
How do I let my rapturous desire for self-concerned freedom go? How do I let my mind resume it’s participatory stronghold within a realm of encompassing goodness? How do I give up my desire for complete control? How do I replace a tight-fisted mindset with the peace that resounds from allowance?
I take a deep breath; I inhale my judgments and my insecurities and my harmful desires. They swirl around my empty cage.
I exhale, making peace with these thoughts; clearing the cage. My soles push off against the soft earth as I glide down the hill.
I come to a rest at the bottom; I wipe my sticky brow with my bare arm, halting a bead of sweat. I close the cleared cage gently.
I turn the key and place it back upon the shelf.
Peace and Blessings,