The Box

I’m not sure exactly how it all began; it seemed to have always been a part of my life. I’d always given things to people things instead of giving them me, which is what they really wanted. I’d hidden so well from everyone I became a shadow to people, with the real ‘me’ a light I kept in a box and brought out when no one was around. I’d take the box out to the woods and streams and fields and open it, and there, just for a little while, I could be me and let myself free. After a while it got to the point I didn’t much go to the woods anymore. Not that I didn’t want to; it just hurt too much to have to leave, to put myself back into that box and close the lid. Better perhaps not to open it at all. Slowly the light started to fade. There were a very few people who ever got to see the box at all. Fewer still ever saw it open, even a little bit, and nobody got to hold it. Something so fragile, a soul, easily broken. What if it fell?

I don’t know when Marcia first saw the box; I think maybe she opened it one day when I wasn’t around. I no longer carried it with me, but put it away on a shelf where it would be safe. Maybe it introduced itself to her, opening just a crack and filling the room. It’s a very special light, mine alone, but then it was weak and troubled. Pay no attention to something, anything, long enough, even yourself, and it will start to go away. I think they must have shared a secret, that light and she; I could see it reflected in her eyes. It was some time before I got up the courage to show the box to her and open it, and I’m sure she feigned surprise. Still, it was very freeing to allow that light, my true self, to be in the presence of another. She could tell there were secrets there, and her touch was always gentle and kind. She entreated me to throw the box away, but fear said no. Better to keep it safe. There were many occasions when I closed the light back in the box and held it tight, protection against storms, wind, cold. But the storms were my own, and the cold settled in the absence of the light contained therein. It took time, for her love was strong, but gradually we stood back, pulled away, let go. By then the box was latched firmly, but I could not give it up. She left, and who could blame her? All that was left was me, and the box.

It came to me one day to open the box again; the light had dwindled to spark. Still, I fed it love and warm breezes and fanned my light bright again. Here now it was not just light, but form, who reached out and took the box away. The boy no longer. In ‘his’ hands the box crumbled and fell into dust. The light essence of me told me many things that day. We are not separate, but One. This cannot be otherwise, for it IS. It was not the light I was afraid to let out of the box ‘he’ reminded. It was the darkness, ugly pain I had put in there also. Memories too severe to be held in my own hands. With time, in my thoughts, they had grown into monsters. I had to keep them contained. That it could be otherwise I could not see.

With the box gone, container opened forever, all the pasts I feared came flowing into my mind. I was unsure at first, but I had my light beside, around, within me now. Together we learned to embrace those memories, to love them enough to let them go, transformed. Everywhere I went, my light now shone, illuminating my presence and touching all we met. So I returned to her, and she to me. Our light hands entwine even as our bodies are busy at their work. So it will always be.

Mike 23/06/2002

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