Thursday, 4 February 2016

My Visualisation of the Well by Lorraine Stroud

So here I am again as I have been before.
There is a deep, narrow well and I am standing at the bottom of it, I am not sure but I must have lost my footing and fallen in. The floor is sodden, muddy and cold, it’s comfortless on my unsteady feet and I am looking up at the circular top, I have been here before, it’s depressingly familiar and grim.
I am wondering how I got down here again and though I am puzzled, bleary-eyed and feeling defeated, I am a little lost for words. Of course I know how I feel and I want to speak but there’s no one down here but me and myself anyway. My mind is spinning one minute and numb the next.

There is a ladder leading back up to the exit but it doesn’t start where I am stood, it’s a way up the wall above my head, it is within reach but I would need to stretch my whole body and use what little strength I have left from the fall to grab the first step.
I feel pain in my shoulders, on my back I am carrying a rucksack, it’s over laden, hefty but I am accustomed to the weight of it, it’s become part of me and my existence. In here I keep my belongings; my PMS, my depression, my illness, my  weight, my duties, my callings, my mum’s cancer, my financial insecurities and my dreams (which I safely squeeze into one of the deep side pockets so I don’t forget them, its zipped up for now.
I attempt the first step, I can reach it, touch it with my fingertips but it’s smeared with something and my hand slips, it won’t grip.
With a stiff, weary neck I stare again at the narrow tunnel up above me. I am comforted see my husband, he has seen me and comes a little way down, he wants to pull me up onto the middle steps which he says are wider and firm to hold onto. I obediently reach up for his hand but it doesn’t stretch far enough. So he leans down as far as he dare and holds out his hand, I will need to leap, I don’t have the energy. He tells me to rest a while and he’ll wait until I am ready. He is incredibly patient. To the left of him is my friend, she has also come down to talk to me, she sits thoughtfully on one of the bricks sticking out of the wall. I know she is there, her shoulders are broad, and she is holding a china mug, a homemade banana muffin (my favourite) and a handkerchief. I smile because she is my guardian angel, inspiring and motherly wise. She looks at me with those sympathetic eyes and beckons me to climb up this ladder again, she says I have done it before, she says things have been worse, I struggle to believe it.

My eyes are then drawn to the opening of the well, I can see the perfect outline of our temple, the sun is dazzling, golden not yellow, the sky is pearlescent blue, birds are sweetly twittering, my children are running around carefree giggling.
I want so much to be back up there, this is not completely impossible, this well was much deeper the  last time I was down here surely I must not have fallen that far down, and the burden on my back was heavier then too. This time I cannot seem to lift the load off my shoulders yet I am certain if I put the bag on the floor I will be light enough to jump onto that first step to freedom. The straps are just too tight right now. I gaze longingly up at the presence of love of my family and the precious sense of peace beaming down on me, and I kneel, put my head in my hands and contemplate my options......

A true reflection, by Lorraine Stroud  23 June 2014