Sitting here in the stillness of a Mayberry morning, thinking of people I once loved, who have passed on. I rarely allow myself to dwell on remembrances of them. I’ve never been one for mourning. Until Bennie died. It’s been fourteen months, ten days, since he left. I don’t think I’ll ever be the same.
I can barely remember a day, since he died, that wasn’t filled with tears. My face has changed because of it. I didn’t know that could even happen. Till now. The shrink said I mourn him because I have a type of Stockholm Syndrome. I can see why he’d think that, but I’m not sure it’s true. When you spend most of your life with someone, no matter how bad it was, I think it’s natural to miss them. Although, I can’t define what it is that I miss. It’s nice not to feel afraid, or to have to pretend and cover so much. It’s nice not splitting time between love and hate, as well. It’s strange to look at pictures he took of me in the months before he died and see the changes in my face. My eyes are always puffy and I don’t quite look like myself. He definitely left his mark.
There’s something about this morning that feels beautifully somber. Grey skies weigh heavy, in many different ways, as this day begins. Their weight feels grounding and reassuring, somehow. Even the birds are quiet. I suppose everything takes time to reflect, now and then, especially on a morning such as this.
Last night was eventful in ways I do not wish to consider right now. So many little things occurred in such short time that I neglected to force myself to really think. My superstitions and uncertainty took over and I was left a sniveling child longing for her mother’s arms.
Terror is a feeling I was familiar with as a child. It was brought on by that which I could touch and feel, and the horrifying imaginations those things left me with. I’ve denied myself the luxury of that feeling since the day I left home. Last night was the single exception in all of these years. So many pieces fell into place in the deep and dark of the night, that I could not gather myself, or make strong. However, I’m happy that it happened.
I think that, perhaps, the events that transpired last night were needed in order to cleanse me of my arrogance where this place is concerned. Since He died, I’ve forced myself to endure the black night with no fear, when storms took the light away and the darkness was all encompassing and unscathed by manmade light. I have refused fear of the noises and frightening tidbits that He would address for me, when He lived. I have refused to so much as pick up my gun, even when I was certain that trouble lurked somewhere beyond my sight. Last night, I learned that all of these self imposed lessons meant nothing if I allowed my guard to come down; if I failed to respect the truth in the natural world I live in and allow superstition and fear to run their course.
Looking back, I see the pieces of the night and how they fit together to create the sheer terror that I felt. I see the moment in which I gave in to that terror. ‘Fear’ simply does not touch on the extreme emotion that caused my heart to pound, ears ringing from the vantablack horrifica and the unseen weapons it presented and used against me. Yet, with a few hours sleep and the light of day, I feel purged of something…something that I can’t quite put a finger on. I feel clean and solidly at peace with myself. Terror is an all-engaging emotion. It leaves no part of your body, soul or spirit untouched by its power. It’s an internal test of faith and strength and all such things that allow us to walk bravely through this world. Terror will strip you to the bone, deconstructing and rearranging your perception. It is an anesthetic that paralyzes everything strong within you. It is an adversary that you cannot allow to win.
I never missed my beloved desert as much as I did last night. In this place, trees lock you in like prison bars and deny you view of what lies beyond. The desert, a proud and treacherous lady, is still gracious enough to grant you clear view of what might come from miles around. There is more comfort in that than I ever realized. Until last night.
It is nearly silent this morning, here in Mayberry. A few birds chirp here and there, but the silence seems to overwhelm their song. The grey sky sets a lovely tone for the peace the silence brings.
I’m gazing out of my window at the trees across the way, wondering what might live inside of that patch of forest. It’s so dense that you cannot see beyond the first row of trees, so you just know that something HAS to be hiding there. This world is a large place and it’s filled with amazing and mysterious things. That’s what I think, anyway. And I am positive that some of those things live beyond the trees across the way.
Here in Mayberry, the evening sun has chosen the most delicate golden hue in which to bathe its adoring fans. Flowers, weeds, birds and varmints, all stand in awe of that flaming orb in the sky, as do I. Each sunrise here is its own blessing, and sunset, all the more sweet. How could anyone not adore this place?
Soon, darkness will fall. The porch light went out and I haven’t replaced it yet. I like it like that, actually. You look out into the pitch of night and you feel as though you’re wrapped in black velvet. There are sounds of my little neighbors who still forage around in the night, and frogs, of all things. Lots of frogs. Once they begin their nighttime cacophony, one can barely make out another sound.
The entire scenario leaves me overwhelmed with gratitude and in awe of the real world…the natural world. It is a world that no man’s hand can create, nor mind conceive. It is both beautiful and brutal and so much bigger than me or any human being. It is a finely tuned ecomachine that exists, if only, to exist. It was here when we got here, and it will be here long after you and I are nothing more than dust. Perfection!