Monday, February 25, 2013

Taste and Touch the Skin of Freedom

(Taking a break from the Lenten series today to join SheLoves Magazine.)

I am six years old standing in my front yard with my bicycle thrown to the ground.  Pliers and a wrench are scattered around unattached, rusty training wheels.  “Let’s go.  Try it again.”  My dad’s steady voice covers my mounting frustration.  He gives me a final push and I take off.  My mom immediately stands up from her perch on the front stoop and claps wildly, hooting and hollering.  The speed, the balance, the momentum, they all fall in line, and I am soaring.  And for the first time, I taste the buds of freedom.

I am 15.  My hands shake as I ignite the lighter and hold the cigarette.  My friend stands in front of me to block the wind and to keep watch for vigilant mothers.  We hide as we smoke down by the creek after school.  Finally, we are old enough to be trusted but still too young to be unchained.  I am thrilled to be breaking the rule but terrified of getting caught.  This must be freedom, right? 

I am 18.  It is August in North Carolina, and my dad is dripping sweat from hauling my things up nine flights of cement stairs.  I shake hands with my new roommate.  We hang posters and arrange the desks.  For the first time in my life, no one will know when I come or when I go, but tomorrow I will eat breakfast among strangers.  And the campus that I thought was large with possibility, now just seems large. My parents and brothers say goodbye.  I sit at the end of my new bed and wipe my slippery face.  Isn’t this the freedom I’ve always craved?    

The rest can be found at SheLoves Magazine.  Continue reading by clicking here: