The black sky appeared to roll around itself as the last of the white billowed clouds disappeared in the darkness. It created an eerie setting– black sky high above a mantel of white– looming high, just waiting to swallow it all in. It certainly went along with my mood of the day, and I smiled as I thought to myself that thankfully, something wold be different on this day.
My mood mirrored the darkness in the sky, and the silence that clung on the neighborhood. I had been working hard trying to sweep out the memories left in the garage, basement, and attic. What had once been treasures had become nothing more to me than trash left behind from a bad marriage and broken dreams.
The thunder began to roll and the sirens began to blow. Warnings of bad weather and shelter had been sounded on the neighborhood alarm. The sound was piercing, but I didn’t want to stop my sweeping. I wiped my dirty hands on my apron, and blew a strand of loose hair that hung down my face. Dust flew as I swept away the years of dirt and grime, and I felt some satisfaction to be pushing it into the dust pan where it belonged.
Tools, clothing, pictures and artifacts of a marriage were stored there, and I knew I had to be rid of them in order to rid myself of the pain. I worked hard and endlessly as the storm blew in closer. I had to get it finished. I was obsessed with this task, and the weather could not make me stop.
Move, lift, throw away. I felt lighter with each piece that was dismantled and disposed of. My body ached from the bending and lifting. I could feel sweat trickle between my breasts. The damn sirens wouldn’t stop. “Stop you damn bloody fools! Stop your damn warnings of safety!” I shouted aloud as they bellowed loud in my ears and reverberated in my chest. I moved up to the attic hoping the shrill of the sirens wouldn’t be as loud.
In the darkness of the attic, I lit the flashlight, and there standing alone, was a small chest. I dusted off the mahogany wood and held it close. Inside was the red velvet lining and a small envelope. Hands shaking, I opened it slowly and read, “You will always be my treasure.”– LIFE. There was a poem attached by Jorge Luis Borges. I read:
After awhile you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning,
And company doesn’t mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises.
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open
with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.
And you learn to build all your roads on today
because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans,
and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After awhile you learn….
That even sunshine burns if you get too much,
So you plant your garden and decorate your own soul,
instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure…
That you are strong.
And you really do have worth…
And you learn and you learn…
With every goodbye you learn.
In the trash I found a gift. I found myself.