I looked across the green landscape and I felt a sense of peace and healing. Gone were the cries of the hurt and hungry. Gone were the buildings that had been torn asunder by bombs and hatred. Gone was the rat-tat-tat of machine guns and the fear of death. I pushed away the images of pain and desperation and breathed in the tranquillity of the scene before me. The living grasses and field flowers soothed my soul and quietened the anxiety I had been carrying inside for so long. I closed my eyes and breathed in the clean fresh air. The risen sun warmed me – both inside and out.
Hefting my bag onto my shoulder, I continued limping slowly in the field of grass and healing. I could have taken a cab from the station to reach home within half an hour. But I knew that I needed this walk in the sweetness of God’s creation and the bitter-sweet memories of my childhood. How carefree we had been when running across these fields. Our gaiety had known no bounds; and our friendship had known no obstacle. Our friendship had stood fast in the face of family disputes, girls, and religious disagreements. We had done everything together from the time we were in the nursery to the time we had enrolled into this godforsaken war.
But no longer. I come home alone. Bearing with me the image of his broken body as it lay strewn across the road. An unexpected attack; and the blinding faith that God would protect him as he reached for the young child. Both of them thrown back high as the explosion rent the air; leaving behind it the sickly smell of death as the dust settled on the debris.
Our childhood innocence is gone. Our utter belief in our youth and strength vanquished. I have come home to lay to rest my demons and nightmares. And while I heal I hope to feel the nearness of my long gone companion in the fields we once both so loved.
(This post was inspired by the prompt suggested by Rebecca T Dickson for her “Just Write” Challenge)