This week we have a piece written by one of our long-time supporters, Margaret Mayer. It seems a good time to share this gorgeous writing. It inspires us to hope and reflects some of our feelings and thoughts as we emerge from a period of difficulty and isolation.
Margaret wrote to us before the weekend away. ‘As I was praying for you all earlier in the week, I was reminded of a story that I wrote back in 2005 which I have attached to send to you. It was a story that came out of a difficult time in my life and similarly for others. Three of us got together to produce the piece of art, also attached. We worked it out on a mirror so that when you looked into it, you could see yourself. This is more an act of obedience than knowing why!’
The Well of Contemplation
As the chill of the night settled upon me, I huddled closer to the wall for warmth and shelter. Using what little sight I had, I strained to work out my surroundings. A wall behind me pronounced itself cold and damp and covered by some sort of mossy residue which brushed upon my body as I came into contact with it.
Echoes surrounded me. Water! The occasional drip and plopping as it made contact a long way below me. My ears quivering, I judged myself to be surrounded with walls and a sheer drop below.
Above me, a minute ray of moonlight sparkled, cutting into the dark, revealing a circular edge which gave out to a starlit night. As the moon moved, I could see that I was somewhat precariously balanced on a ledge down a well.
How had I got here? That remains a mystery to me, at the moment. Perhaps my memory will come back. I know that my best chance of getting free is to keep myself safe until the early morning light.
My bones feel so weary and I have no strength, barely the will to go on. Occasionally I long for the darkness of the night to reach out and caress me and let me draw myself into its presence to find relief and rest.
I cannot think. My mind is troubled, my heart weeps, my mouth screams silently, all I need is some sense of fight to spur me on.
As night sets in, I pull my legs around my head and pull the others under my body. There is little movement here now, the only sounds coming from above. The wind that whistles eerily and the responding rustle of the leaves. Even the night life is quiet.
I feel so heavy now. I cannot move my legs and body, they are cramped into this one position. I cannot even fall into the water below. Maybe that is as well, as the smell of stagnant water is gradually suffocating me with its nauseous odour.
Time passes, slowly, oh, so slowly. The moon is replaced by the rising sun, the inky darkness giving way to the soft pastel pinks and yellows as the sky dresses for day. The birds falteringly start their songs and, as they gain confidence, sing joyfully.
There is a small part of me that cannot help but respond to the praise above me. With the additional light I carefully look at myself to ascertain the full damage.
My poor body! It is covered with scratches and long scars, battle scars. Some go back years, others are more recent. My heart feels sad. My colour has become a mottled dark grey and black, and pieces of the damp moss have clung to me. My legs are marked and damaged, my face, I’ve no doubt, also looks a mess. Slowly my vision is returning, adjusting to the light. I can see so much more clearly. It is not impossible to crawl out of here. All that it needs, is some courage for the first step and the rest will follow. After all, I do have all day.
As I rest here for a moment or two. I allow myself to remember the good times. Those times when the sun shone and the trees were in full leaf in more shades of green than you could possibly imagine. And, those times when the rainbow hit the ground radiating its seven heavenly colours, the dawn of a new day with sunsets at its closure, hues of colours, through red to orange to pink, to yellow intermittently broken up with streaks of bright blue.
And how about the flowers! their colours are too numerous to mention. As I hold onto these visions, I tentatively take my first step. Shaky and unsure at first, but becoming firmer as I slowly and surely make my way to the top.
It is then that the tiredness and strain begin to leave me as my body grows stronger. As the air touches my lungs and awakens my body, so I see its colour change, becoming lighter and lighter and taking on the pale blue of the sky.
Not too much further to go. I look forward to being completely free and taking on the richness and beauty of my surroundings.
After all, what else would a chameleon do?
Thank you for sharing this, Margaret.
We’d love to feature more of your creative reflections. Please contact us if you have anything you’d like to submit and share with others.