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        Her feet sank in the slick clumps of mud, traction non-existent. The muddied field lay before an imposing mountain. Rain pelted her face as she struggled to move the monolithic burden tied to her back. She knew the strength a task like this would take from others. It was the job of one who had an unbreakable spirit. One who wouldn’t be easily swayed or give in, one who would fight to their last breath. She’d stepped into the light, knowing that she was the only one who could carry such weight.

        Children’s faces flickered to her mind. They were but one of the many tools in her belt that propelled her further. Clothes hung off her, heavy, soaked and tattered, providing little protection. She was no better off than a forgotten scarecrow in a farmer’s field. The soles of her shoes had worn down to their inner guts — her feet cold, bleeding, sore, and blistered.

        The space between her shoulder blades felt like dried out sinew, tight and barely malleable. Her neck was taut and rigid and her spine locked in a vice grip. The pressure clenched harder with each step, threatening to grind the bone to dust. It was unyielding. The outside world cared not the pain she suffered, for they knew not what she suffered. This was her burden. If they saw the cracks — no. They’d have to stay masked too. She had been carrying on for so long, what was one more can of fix-a-flat for her soul?

        Lost in her pain and suffering, the fog curled and twisted, like a seductive dancing demon beckoning her forward. Her heart drummed in her ears, pounding like a toddler on a drum set for the first time. The height of the monster before her feet disappeared behind the heavy black pearl churning umbra of the heavens. She felt so small in that moment. Insignificant. Why had she thought she was able to do this?  Weakness overcame her body. Her knees kissed the saturated ground, mud splashing in her face. Pain radiated throughout her body, her heart shuddering its charge. Anguish streaked down her face, disguised by the droplets of water beating down upon her.

Insecurity tore at her, like vultures ripping into a carcass. She’d given so much already, yet more was asked of her. She would die upon this mountain. She was sure of it. There was no one to carry on this task in her stead. If she failed, so too would the mission. Too much depended on her. Peace rippled out from behind her with every step she took. A deep chill settled in her bones. The hair on her arms rose, electricity thick. A turbulent storm brewed at the peak of the formidable foe before her.

        A decision lay before her. Turn back now, saving what small pieces of her were left, or keep putting one foot in front of the other until the flame within was snuffed out. Which would you choose?

Author’s Note

The burden? Carrying the lives of others. Others who depend on you to help them traverse the pathways of life. To keep the peace as a peacemaker and spread love, lifting others up. It keeps coming back to the hard right vs the easy wrong. It is what drives me, but I’m tired. I truly want to see everyone succeed. Give everyone the peace they need. Help everyone navigate the unfamiliar waters. Set things right. Change the world for the better by changing the lives of all I met for the better. It’s a leaden endeavor but one the world needs in spades these days. All I see surrounding me is pain, hate, sadness, etc. It’s hard to see it all. Overwhelm isn’t even scratching the surface of the emotional distress I find myself in these days. So many are delusional and selfish, which creates a ripple effect to those who are connected to them. It’s a vicious cycle and one that has exhausted me. I’ve always sought to be raw and real, supportive and uplifting. I’m at the base of the looming mountain wondering what the point of it all is. Little bits of my soul have been given out to people, some I don’t even know, and I am not sure if I have enough of me to give out and still make the trek over the mountain.

I’m sorry to all those that have fallen through the cracks. Plates have been dropped and I can spin them no more. At least not right now. I need to step away to regain my strength and recoup pieces of my soul so I have more to give out to you all.

        All my love