We spend… too little time experiencing the griefs themselves. The result is that these griefs remain hidden and never open us to our joys. ~David Whyte
Fingers lightly wrapped around the handles, I escape.
I feel the vibration of speed beneath me, my forceful thumb spurrs the four-wheeler forward at a dangerous speed.
I take the corner too quickly, and tires slide. Two wheels lift into the air, and along with them, so do I.
Blood trickles down my arm, dripping from my elbow.
I listen to the crunch of metal overturned and falling slowly, flipping one way then the other down the ravine next to where I lay on the gravel road.
When it stops, I pay attention to my ankle. Slowly unlacing my shoe, I pull my foot free. Immediately, it swells and I want to scream, but I don’t.
Because I need this.
I deserve this.
I try to wipe the blood away with my sock. The splash of dark red against crimson white startles me.
“I deserve this,” I tell myself over and over.
That was two years ago.
I was a mess.
Today, I swing my leg over the leather seat. I rev the motor, punch the throttle, and once again, I’m sliding.
Rocks fling from my tires, and I pray they strike against and shatter the glass I’ve been staring into the last few hours.
An hour glass glued to the table; an hour glass slowly flowing away my life. An hour glass with a growing mound of wasted yesterdays staring back at me.
My elbow feels wet, and once again, I feel the familiar warmth of blood spilling from within me.
But I haven’t crashed.
I go faster.
The wind lifts the hair from my face.
Faster, faster, still faster.
Full throttle on a gravel road.
The tears slide from my eyes as the sting of wind pushes more emotion from within me.
I take a corner, and tires lift from the earth.
And I’m spinning.
The colors of the countryside bleed together, and momentarily, I’m scared.
Then it’s over.
The spinning stops.
Laughter splits the air, and I wonder if I’m mentally unstable.
And the laughter reminds me of happy times as a child.
“I’m getting dizzy, daddy.”
Strong hands stop the merry-go-round, and I stumble from its center. A sturdy hand reaches for mine, and with that touch, the world stops spinning.
The trees stop colliding with the picnic tables.
The sky springs from its embrace with the earth.
The wind flips the slipper slide back on its feet.
My world stops spinning.
But now, sitting atop the four-wheeler, I realize I’m an adult. I’m not at the playground with my dad.
Instead, I’m here. All grown up, with tears drying on my cheeks.
“Who’s gonna catch me when I fall?”
And as soon as I whisper the words, I feel His embrace.
And my world stops spinning.