My thoughts have been traveling to new possibilities lately. I have finally let go of who I thought I might be or what I thought my life might look like. Let me tell you, that is not easy. The Universe has been giving me opportunities to learn about Shoulds.
With physical limitations and the acceptance that my life is just going to be different, I realized it doesn’t have to be bad. I thought I was headed down a certain path and I came to a bridge that spanned a deep and dark stream.
Under that bridge was a Troll who had me by the ankle. I reached over to the branch of a very large tree that I thought was going to rescue me, save me and keep me on the path I was headed.
The struggle was long and hard and I fought the valiant fight. But I became weak and tired and couldn’t hang on any more. I cried, struggled and finally the branch slipped from my grasp. The branch did not care about my struggles, the branch was perfectly happy just standing there watching, it may have even mocked my pain a bit because it could not relate. It was a branch, it was not me.
As I tumbled into the water below I feared the Troll. I could see the branch snap back into place and turned away from me. I flailed around the deep dark water in the shadow of the bridge and the branch of the very large tree. As I called to the branch for help, it ignored my pleas. Of course it did. It was a branch, why was I expecting it to be something it was not? I had to accept it for what it was and I mourned the loss of the safety of the branch.
I realized I had stopped flailing about in the water and I had begun what was instinctual. I began to tread water. The current slowly pulled me away from the shadow of the great tree. I could no longer see the branch as an individual but saw the tree as a whole. It was dying. Witches Broom had taken root on another branch and was taking its life away as parasites do.
It left gnarled branches and twigs that twist and bend in the wind. I felt a sting on my hand, the branch had left a deep cut from my struggles. I knew it would leave a scar. I realized the branch could not have possibly saved me because it was doing the best it could to survive. As the current continue to pull me away. I noticed the branch I had been pulling on crack in the wind. It was not as strong as I had thought. I too had left a mark and new we were both on separate paths.
As the current pulled me further down stream it turned me towards the opposite bank. I saw the Troll standing on the shore.I felt fear. As the water pulled me closer, I saw it was a trick of light that made the troll appear as a hideous and fearful creature. While the Troll was deformed it had gentle eyes as they peered into mine.
I could see compassion in the face of the troll. The kept pace with me as I floated farther down stream. I was no longer feeling fear but I was unaware of what this emotion was.
The stream led me to the elbow of the river. The bend was filled with rocks that created rapids. I felt fear again.
I looked over to the Troll who was now my only hope. I reached for her hand and she did not reach back. She tilted her head and sat on the ground lifting her legs. She was showing me how to navigate. I turned to face the rapids and I lifted my legs to a sitting position. Memories flooded back. I remembered how to do this, I remembered how to steer with my legs to navigate safely around the rocks and while I was slightly injured with bumps and scrapes, I got through fine.
I looked over at the Troll who was still keeping pace with me and I smiled and waved. The Troll smiled back. I could see she was relived I made it through okay.
As the current pulled me further down stream, I could see birds overhead.
They dropped stones while circling above. They were trying to hit me, I had no idea why. I covered my arms over my head to protect myself and I looked over to the Troll. The Troll tilted her head once again and made movements with her arms. I realized she wanted me to swim. I had forgotten I knew how. I rolled over to my belly and swam close to shore under the protective cover of the branches. The birds lost sight of me and left.
I turned over and floated once again and waved my hand in thanks to the Troll. The Troll smiled.
I looked to the sky and noticed it was not dark like it was when I was on the bridge. I looked to my right and saw sunshine dappled through the trees. When I was on the bridge I saw shadows over take the sunshine. I closed my eyes for a moment to absorb this feeling at I couldn’t identify. All I knew was I didn’t have the same feeling of fear and anxiety as I did when I was on the bridge.
The sound of the stream became louder, in increased in decibels and became a roar. My eyes flew open and I saw a flash of fear in the Trolls eyes. She ran ahead and climbed up on a fallen tree that spanned the width of the stream. She reached her outstretched hand before me and grasped mine as I floated beneath her. In a single motion, she pulled me to the safety of the log.
She sat beside me breathing heavily with relief. She hugged me gently and lifted me off my feet in a warm embrace. Carefully she put me down on the mossy covered log and showed me what she had rescued me from.
The stream had taken me past the bridge where I had started. I could see the bridge across the meadow and it was leading into darkness.
The branch that I had wanted to save me was gone and broken with some pieces on the rocks below. The Witches Broom Parasite had destroyed the branch and the bridge was crumbling into the darkness of the forest. The log I was on had saved me from the waterfall below and I watched as pieces of the branch tumbled over the side never to be seen again.
I was saved in a manner that I had not expected. I trusted where I was told to fear.
The Troll lead me across the log until I was safely on solid ground. She smiled at me and hugged me once more. Then she let me walk forward into the sunshine. I then recognized this new feeling. It was peace and I knew everything would be okay.