I am alone. I can’t recollect much about who I am, but what matters is that I am at ease, despite my apprehension. I’m in a large log cabin nestled comfortably in the middle of a remote forest filled with the tallest evergreen trees and prettiest wildflowers. This is my home, my grand castle, as modest as it is. It is where I have always belonged, as far as I can remember. I pull up a chair and pick up my old leather-cased notebook, and then I lean my head gently by the window before opening it up.
A rush of mixed sentiments floods my heart as the leaves plummet softly and the birds chirp tranquilly, serenading the stars around me. I begin writing poetry expressing my perspective of the nature all around me, from the trees to the flowers. These writings, of course, do not pertain to my experience outside of my house; on the contrary, these writings regard my notions from merely just behind my window.
Such breathtaking thoughts of lovely grandeurs swirl through my mind, but I do not know what it is to experience them for myself; I can only watch them from afar, wishing upon said stars in the sky. The world around me is a dream I wish I could truly live in, but it is only a dream — nothing more. I adore the idea of it, but I fear it at the same time. As the cold air from outside fills the ambiance, I glide the pen across the page, and these words follow:
I can’t recall the scent of spring and autumn,
Nor the taste of summer and winter.
Every sweet sight and sound has been forgotten;
I only wish I could truly remember.
I feel lonelier than I would like to admit, but the evening is quickly running out. My eyelids grow awfully faint after several minutes of composing and contemplating, and so I begin to cozily settle down in my bed covers. The delicate wind flows through the orchards and meadows until it sweeps into my room and leaves behind various little blossoms on my bed sheets. The surrounding fragrance makes me smile as I gently place the lantern by my notebook on the cabinet beside me and ultimately close my sleepy eyes. I am content, but only in my home.
I open my eyes and find myself running hastily through a forest of diverse evergreens. I have my satchel hung comfortably on my shoulder. I chase the calm but biting breeze as it seems to sweep me into the possibilities surrounding me. My thoughts are lighter than downy parachutes slowly descending from the heavens. I laugh and peer down at my bare feet which seem to be weightless on the path under them. Suddenly an idea overwhelms my mind, an incredibly significant idea.
I am not dreaming about escaping. This is reality.
I pause for a moment in the midst of the emerald trees to catch my breath. I observe my wristwatch to find that it is morning, and I look up at the warm sky while the friendly sunbeams bleed through the leaves above and paint the ground a tender golden. I’m finally, actually beyond the limits, beyond the bounds, beyond the lines which I created and told myself would be too dangerous to cross. Then all at once, a sharp fear strikes my heart as I look behind me.
Every moment from the night prior returns to me in an unexpected blur as follows….
I remember that after only a few moments of rest, my eyelids jolted open and I stared blankly at the ceiling above me. Then I abruptly sat up in my bed. There was a scent I didn’t recall before going to sleep — it wasn’t simply the aroma of the petals on my sheets. No, it was rather much stronger than that.
Every scenario I could possibly conjure swarmed through my head in only a small second. I fixed my eyes to the right and saw the lantern I placed on my cabinet. It was shattered all over the floor. I had smelled the embers of a fire. Its flames spread all across the corner of my bedroom, creeping up the walls. I knew that fire always traveled upward and never went downward, so I proceeded to the door in order to escape downstairs. But the wooden floorboards in my bedroom slowly turned into cinders, and what was left of the lantern fell through the floor to the first story of my house. Almost immediately I noticed a rush of fire blaze up the stairs before me, so I shut the door, and scuttled back into my bed, right beside my open window.
I hurriedly picked up my old satchel and placed my notebook inside of it. I stared out of my window and down at the grass below. Subsequently, I prepared to jump. Before I knew it, my feet were touching the ground. I had finally escaped. It only took realizing that I was always trapped, not only in the fire, but also every time I believed I could never leave the cabin.
I ran through the hills and into the woods as the grass blades struck my ankles and got caught in between my toes. I was afraid, more afraid than I was of leaving the cabin. I was afraid of looking back to watch the cabin burn. So I let my legs bring me as far ahead as I could — and then I closed my eyes, promising myself not to let the past come back to haunt me like the cottage in which I resided being burned to the ground. Then, for a few seconds, I forgot.
That’s when I opened my eyes and found myself believing I was in a dream.
As I promptly remember these details of last night’s exploit, I walk toward the burning house. I’m anxious to approach it, but I do so anyway. I can see the sparks flying up in the distance. I run faster and faster. My memories seem to die with the house as the flames come to life. A sight too surreal for me to express reflects in my eyes like a flare of emotions. It’s a forest fire growing stronger, like my equal greatest fears, those of escaping and those of returning.
Someone walks from the ashes. It’s a girl wearing a lavish crimson, but her dress is singed in places and torn at the hems. I cannot believe my eyes. Not only am I am in the presence of another human, but she is a lady, with a beautiful and kind face.
“Hello, Kenric,” she says.
“How… how do you know my name?” I stammer.
“Don’t you remember who you are?” she asks. “You are a prince. And, believe it or not, I am a princess. My name is Kyndle. You’ve been spellbound by the idea that your potential doesn’t exceed the outside of your humble cabin. I am here to prove that idea is wrong, and to help you escape, run beyond the hills and explore where reality and fantasy meet.”
Now I begin to remember who I once was. All days bitter now seem a bit sweeter. She is a princess, and somehow I am a prince. I am realizing that I tricked myself into thinking a home was a prison, a house in which I never wanted to be, but was still supposed to be. I was wrong all along. Throughout all of those years I spent daydreaming, I seemed to forget that one’s home is truly one’s heart, and so long as my heart is free, so my home is.
“Thank you,” I tell her, wiping the tears from my eyes.
She looks at me sweetly but mysteriously with a twinkle in her smile. “From now to every season to come, you can dwell on life’s simple beauties without a single worry. Being comfortable isn’t what makes life exciting, Kenric. It’s being at peace. And peace isn’t always something you can find inside the walls of an old cabin, but rather in the evergreen trees and wildflowers. Are you ready?”
A heartwarming stillness resonates and reassures me to the depths of my heart. I look into her crystal eyes, then to the remains of my cabin, and lastly to the mountains in the distance. There is an adventure ahead of me far more wonderful than those I have yet dreamed of. I take a deep breath and then hold her hand securely in mine. I am not alone anymore.
“I am ready.”
Like a Bright Light
Despair is like a dark fog,
Invading every blue sky
With its impassible smog,
Like a rainy day but dry;
Despair is like a dark fog,
Making every willow weep
With its contagious sob,
Like an ocean eternally deep;
Hope is like a bright light,
Invading every shadow
With its inescapable might,
Like the blinding sun’s glow;
Hope is like a bright light,
Making every creature grin
With its infectious delight,
Like a beam too intense.
Yesterday I had the immense honor of taking this princess on a date at the river to explore nature together, have a picnic, walk along the river, wade in the water, write a bucket list, share our favorite Bible verses, take photographs and see a movie. I’m incredibly blessed and grateful to call her my girlfriend.
“‘Worship’ is the term we use to cover all the acts of the heart and mind and body that intentionally express the infinite worth of God. This is what we were created for.”
A man with hope in his eyes
But grief in his heart,
He cries out to the Lord of all
That outdoes darkness with great light
And promises daybreak after every nightfall,
For in this moment the Son is at peace,
Because of His Father’s promise,
Suffering for the whole world but saving their souls,
As He clings silently to the wooden cross.
A child with grief in his eyes
But hope in his heart,
I cling to the wooden cross
Whilst every tribulation falls behind me
And every revelation rises before me,
For henceforth I am considered blameless,
Because of the price He paid,
Losing the whole world but gaining my soul,
As I cling silently to the wooden cross.
Oftentimes, when we confess our errors to the Lord, it’s merely a deep guilt or regret, but not a true contrition. We tell God that we’re sorry for wronging Him, and turn around and do it once more. But in doing this, we are leaving out the most absolutely crucial part of accepting His forgiveness. Repentance isn’t just letting God break your heart. It’s letting Him heal it. We must humble ourselves before Him and admit that only He is capable of fixing us. For once this happens, the center of who we are has been wrecked and repaired to create something beautiful, a place truly worth dwelling for the Spirit of God Himself.
“Certainty is the mark of the commonsense life — gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, not knowing what tomorrow may bring. This is generally expressed with a sigh of sadness, but it should be an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. As soon as we abandon ourselves to God and do the task He has placed closest to us, He begins to fill our lives with surprises.”
“If I am drowning in a rapid river, a man who still has one foot on the bank may give me a hand which saves my life. Ought I to shout back (between my gasps) ‘No, it’s not fair! You have an advantage! You’re keeping one foot on the bank’? That advantage — call it ‘unfair’ if you like — is the only reason why he can be of any use to me. To what will you look for help if you will not look to that which is stronger than yourself?”
-C. S. Lewis