In My Own Backyard

I sat on the rickety park bench in my back yard, a pen in my hand and my journal open in my lap. The words poured from my heart onto the page as I cried out all that was wrong with my day…my thoughts…my life.

“This is my life right now:” I had begun, and from there dumped out two solid pages of my heart’s contents. Feelings of loneliness…being forgotten…overlooked…left out and excluded. I didn’t know what I needed…what I wanted…what I was expecting from that time of solitude, but I knew I had to do it lest I suffocate.

As I stood up to go back inside, a heart-shaped leaf next to my foot caught my eye.



Several hours later, I walked into the deepest parts of my yard again. This time I carried a cutting board in one hand, covered with the seedy insides of a bell pepper from my lunch, and the paring knife in the other. I spilled the discarded pieces of pepper into the woods behind my house, glancing briefly up into the trees swaying against a grey and darkening sky.

“I wish it would storm,” I thought. The forecast had been promising storms for days, but every time the skies hinted at a spring thunderstorm, the clouds would be carried away and blue skies would return. Thunderstorms speak to my spirit in a special way, and it was always such a disappointment to see the clouds part with no release.

I sighed as I walked back toward the house, my eyes always scanning the ground in front of me. “A storm would perfectly reflect my heart today.”

The breeze picked up a little, causing the grass and leaves at my feet to rustle. Something caught my eye, and as I took a couple of steps backwards to look more closely at whatever it was that I thought I had seen, the sky rumbled. A long, deep, soulful rumble from somewhere deep in the woods.

I turned back, looking up at the sky, grinning for the first time that day. “Thank you,” I whispered, and before the words had fully escaped my lips, another rumble. And then another, each from a different direction. I was surrounded.

The breeze rustled the trees, I stared into the vast gray sky, and wept.

“You see me, God. You see me, and You know. And You haven’t forgotten about me, even for a second.”

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