Labyrinth 4: Love

Labyrinth 4: Love

I was in love. I did not know it.
What I knew was delight. My bare feet caressed meadows sprinkled with flowery jewels. Each sunrise stunned me as it set flames upon granite spires, then brushed them downward. At times, my eyes brimmed and my heart swelled. My legs had grown stronger, but they often felt weak, as if yearning to kneel before the world’s generosity.
I did not call it love because I did not yet know love, though I would soon. In a few months I’d meet my high school sweetheart and feel the same thrill and and swoon, with the added rush of hormones and sexuality. So I didn’t see what happened then as genuine love until…now. But it’s obvious: my first love was nature. Its currents flowed beneath my second, lending depth to the surges of young romance.
I’ll tell the story of Marion and me before long. But dwelling briefly on the earlier love feels important. It planted a purpose that never faded, even as many relationships came and went in those early years. While camped beside Thousand Island Lake and awaking each morning to the sight of Banner Peak yawning a golden tooth toward the sky, I began to see a future beyond drugs and chaos. I could study nature; it could be my career. Though I often lost sight of that purpose in years to come, it always reasserted itself. It is moving me now, as I write this story in the face of self-doubt and a portfolio of unfinished projects.
True love makes one a bit mad. So I’m trying to explain what Life taught me about itself, knowing the story is a bit nuts, and feeling out of my depth. Still, it’s something I must try. What I think I’ve learned feels too big to keep inside.
When we settle our fears and soften our wanting, Life calls us home. My own journey home began in the stillness by the lake. But it did not end there, and it wasn’t a steady journey forward. The first backslide landed me in Juvenile Detention.