Thursday, August 9, 2012

Diaries of an Optimist: True Courage

When we were younger, we all loved riding bikes; the way we felt like we could conquer the world with our impeccable speed, the way the wind rushed through our skin and flipped our hair upside down, inside out, and onto our faces, appreciated by our careless and carefree nature. Then there were the falls. It was only for a split second that we would turn our eyes to watch that pretty white cat run the sidewalk, or one sharp turn over a rock on the floor, that maneuvered our bikes haywire, and brought our fancy streamer laden handlebars crashing to the floor as we slid off the very edges of our cushioned little seats. There we were, tumbled on the floor with our elbows scratched and our knees scraped, with the skin peeling around the gash, but we were only eight; no we didn't want to sit out and watch everyone else have fun, while we waited for the blood to drain from our veins, and the scars to burn themselves out. We loved those bikes, and we wanted to ride them; so we summoned our courage, bandaged our pain, climbed ourselves back up, and into the wind we ventured. Do you remember that cut? We carted it around with us like a nuisance, but we fed it fresh air, and so it healed, and into the wind we ventured.

The years pass, and the bikes may be gone, but we continue to fall; last year, last month, only yesterday. Except now, it’s not just a simple fall on that cement. Now, the cuts penetrate deeper, puncturing the very flesh of our hearts, the insides of our minds, and the lines on our smiles. Another rejection letter, another loss of a dear friend,  and all we want to do is lie in that pool of blood, waiting for it to soak us up, waiting for the hurt to crawl its way out of our brains.
Maybe it will never weed itself out, the way scars on our skin leave imprints forever, and no we cannot stop the pain from stabbing us, as we couldn’t stop the way it stung us all those years ago, but we can find the sunshine hidden beneath all the rain, like the prospect of that beautiful adventure in the form of a bike waiting for us when we look up from the ground. Only we know what makes us get out of bed each morning and face the light, we know what gives us happiness; from the smallest pleasures like the way the cool breeze from the window feels on a hot day, to the most significant ones, like the prayers you make at the early breath of sunrise. When you see yourself sunken on that menacing ground, don’t let it wallow you up in despair, it doesn’t deserve the warmth you glow upon it. Find your passion, your hope. Find your courage. Be like the tree, that stands tall, through the stormy weather that threatens to snap its graceful neck. Climb back up on that beautiful bike and drift away, once more.

Photo Source: Aliyah 

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