Lightening (An Excerpt)
He awoke in the darkness. It was disorienting. What was it about this darkness that was different? It was as if he had just been born into it. As if this would be all he would ever know. Why? What had he been dreaming? What had wakened him?Had the power gone out?
Lightening. A storm. The power must’ve gone out. Perhaps the thunder had caused him to wake from his nightmare.
Where is the lamp…Oh, right no power. Uh…flashlight. Ummm, bedside table…what the? Where am I?
Oh my God! Ohmygodohmygodohmygod. An insincere prayer, but necessary nonetheless.
He had reached for his bedside table and nearly rolled off a cliff! Of all the questions that spun through his mind in that instant-Where? How? What? Why? – One stood out boldly. Am I still dreaming? It seems he remembered that one couldn’t be dreaming if one could ask, “Am I dreaming?” So…this is real?
He started to roll away from the cliff.
Aaaaaaaaaah. He nearly rolled off of the other side! What was this place? He lay still and tried to calm his breathing and slow his heartbeat. He felt alive in having avoided death so narrowly twice in as many minutes, and terrified as to his unknown predicament. What should I do? Think! Like so many before and the millions who would follow after him, he stopped to think AFTER nearly meeting with disaster. So often we assume we can coast on previous decisions and habit without stopping to think, and then tragedy strikes or at least breathes on the nape of our neck. Then we stop to ponder what could be. Thank God for those moments.
He decided he needed to stand. It is always true that changing our posture changes our point of view. Slowly he knelt and felt around himself…fool me three times and I’ll die! He seemed to be on some sort of path or bridge of rock. There was nothing else he could feel. He wished for a branch or hand full of rocks…Wait, why? Protection? Against what? Falling? Something about the darkness and the storm created a desire to prepare to fight for his life. Little did he know he already was.
Ever so slowly he rose to his feet. One hand over his head in case there was something to hit his head on above him. So DARK.
Suddenly he caught a new glimpse of his situation. In that moment of light he saw what lay behind and the path that lay ahead. At times each of us step into a moment of clarity. We somehow connect with that deeper undercurrent of life. The world seems more beautiful, our choices seem so simple, our path so clear before us. He had just experienced such a moment and was thrust back into darkness. Life is like that. A moment of clarity suddenly clouded by the darkness of routine, pattern and tradition.
Well, what of it? Just like life, he had to hold onto that flash of vision and move forward hoping for another.
Ok, it seems it’s time to ACT. Sometimes we act because we have no choice, most of the time we act after some consideration, rarely we act following a deep exploration of our options and ourselves, and then every once in a great while we act in accordance with a short, vivid vision that instills both excitement and terror. It was this rare final reason to ACT that he would use.
He took a tentative half-step forward. His bare toes eeking outward like antennae. He planted his foot and shifted his weight forward. Why do I have to be barefoot? Isn’t that so often the way? When you decide to act you find yourself less equipped for the path ahead than you’d like to be? Courage is taking that second step. Settling in your mind that you have what you need and now that you’ve begun there will be no turning back. Character is built step by step. Self confidence and faith expand with each forward motion. I am going the right direction. I believe I can handle this journey. Wisdom arises as you realize that no matter how prepared you are for a journey, accidents and unplanned circumstances will change your perspective on the path. The Journey is not often comfortable, but without beginning with the first step life becomes a waiting game. Wondering what could be…where could we go…why nothing ever goes our way. To not move forward is to fight the purpose of living. To refuse to grow is to die.
He inched into his second step. His resolve began to harden.
Would you like to read more? Let me know what you think. I am delving into short stories and would love to hear your thoughts! ~Dan