These are only dreams. Reality is very different. In reality, little boys can pick up their father's guns and kill the little girl down the street. In reality, a man can make an anonymous purchase over the internet of enough ammunition to kill a dozen of people in a crowded theater, or nine students innocently seeking an education. Reality is inescapable, except in dreams - which is likely why we need them so much. This is one of mine, cased in my reality, which just happens to suck today; I am in a lot of pain and don't have the energy or the guts to push through it and go on with work, school, life. Better to seek solace in dreams.

I awoke in the night to the sound of the windchimes on the front porch. The curtains lifted, shifted; a breeze stole into my room. The night was black outside the window. The music of rain mingled with the chimes; fine-fingered droplets combed through the trees and if I held my breath, I could hear the the dying leaves sigh as they released their hold on the twigs and branches and dropped gracefully to the wet ground. Going back to the earth. Returning to that which created them.

Autumn always stirs something within me, creates a longing to cast off my moorings and sail - who knows where... It is this time of year, when I wake to tattered grey ribbons of cloud obscuring the morning sky - like a veil, or a shroud; when I see the trees release their leaves to the wind and I think of death, and by necessity, new life; when wild geese call and I hurry to the window to mark their flight, that I most question my life, myself, and the choices I have made. It is autumn when I know that my life is more than where I have been or where I am going. It is autumn when I feel closest to the bones of the earth, in love with the sky, at one with the rain. The restlessness is just as chronic and as present as my pain, and I am compelled to acknowledge it, to reveal the skeletal tree beneath the leaves of my many commitments and tethers.

Someday, an autumn will come that sees me freed of the ties that bind me here. My children grown and self-sufficient. My work completed. My promises kept. Then, like a wild goose I will take to the wind. I will sail into the shreds of cloud that veil the sky and rise above them, to a place of deeper blue, where there is nothing to separate me from the sun. I will dive back to the earth and let my wings take me to new shores, where the trees and the rocks and even the stars are strange. Maybe this day will only come when there is no aching body left to bind me. Who knows? But freedom will come, someday, one way or another.


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