June 7, 2012

To Freeing the Caged Bird Within . . .

This poem is written to all of those who live in self-captivity.
Remember: You hold the key to releasing yourself from old patterns, beliefs, and the bondage that keeps you from living your authentic life. The key is always within reach, just as in the picture above . . . sometimes we just don't expect the help to come from ourselves . . . we wait on someone to bring us out of our misery. Look around, pay attention, and take control of your path!

red scarf

Following the trail with obedient feet,
every day I make the same groove
in the dirt
while my eyes scan the abundant life around me
outside of the manmade path.

Frostweed sprouting on a hillside.
Hollowed-out tree trunks.
One red leaf swinging on a branch,
unique in its ability to hold on, though it is now winter.
All of this is just out of my reach . . .

The area off the path holds a secret
I’ve been too narrowly focused to understand,
because this path I walk is dull.
This dirt is dry.
The tree roots threaten my ankles.
New life doesn’t emerge here.

But my eyes see life over there, in the valley.
And over there, where rock and water meet.
And over there, where the red leaf still clings, triumphantly.
But I was told to stay on the path that was created
for those who enter the woods.

It’s safer, I’m told.
It’s easier to walk on, I’m told.
It’s respectful to the woods and animals, I’m told.
And I’m used to being blindly obedient.
But . . .

This path I walk is dull.
This dirt is dry.
The tree roots threaten my ankles.
New life doesn’t emerge here
on this worn-out, manmade path.

My focus is narrow, like the trail.
I’m daily kicking up dust, creating clouds of confusion.
This temporary blindness is causing
                 yet a determination
                                            for something else
                                                                         over there.

As my determination builds,
I gaze upon a divine omen.
It is red.
It is long and winding through a pile of leaves
off the trail.

Its twisting shape beckons me to move toward it
and I find myself swaying and moving,
like I haven’t done in years,
feeling happy and alive.

My feet stop at the threads
of the bright object
rising out of the leaves
like an out-of-place red vine

I look down.
It is a red scarf.
Yet its abandonment has saved me from my own.

Its hopeful red energy
and billowy movement under the leaves
fills my mind with future possibilities
I had never considered.

How can this object have such an effect on me? I wonder.
Is it because it escaped its tight hold on the traveler’s neck
who fervently kept to the path?

Is it because I admire its fluid escape into
the area off the path where life is
interactive and wilder,
holding all the potential I need
to have hope in feeling alive again?

In feeling courageous enough to get off the trail
and walk an unpredictable, curvy terrain
that restores wholeheartedness and wonderment?

I look around and I am eight yards away from
the dull, dry dirt of the trail.
I smile and keep moving farther away from it,
with the scarf loose in my hands,
blowing in the wind.


Guiding me toward my own freedom.

© 2011 by Jenna Love

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