Sitting on the front porch just now with the sun streaming down on me, I had an epiphany. As a young child I played happily by myself for hours, in our backyard, often making a private little home for me and my dolls under the shade of a weeping willow tree. What contentment to sit in its shade, absentmindedly absorbing the serenade of bird songs, or the dull roar of an overhead airplane as it arced through the sky to some unknown destination.
Time seemed at once to stand still and to flow, washing over me the sweet assurance of being loved and cherished. Grasshoppers jumped to my delight and bees droned in their lazy way, seeking to suck the nectar from sweet summer's lavishness.
Before, this is how I knew life. Before, the sun was kind to me and the long summer days were resplendent with hope and the promise of eternity. After, I found no delight in the season whose brightness rubbed me the wrong way: and here's where my epiphany enters the scene. I once loved the sunshine, for it made things glow and throb with eternity. I reveled in the promise of one day living in a land where we will no longer need the sun, for the Lamb will be our light. I loved how time went on and on, seemingly endless. But once abuse grabbed me with cold, grasping hands, I could no longer delight in the unendingness of summer, for it meant now that the abuse would never come to an end. It meant that forever and ever I would be at the mercy of evil, and for me that meant that the sun had eternally set on my soul, never to rise again, bathing me in that glow of well-being which now seemed foreign to me, a tale told out of school.
Because the abuse began on a hot summer's day I've always assumed that's the reason behind my lack of fondness for summer. But I see now it goes deeper than that, all the way back to those earliest memories of complete contentment broken now, shattered beyond repair and me with nothing to look forward to but vague terror and a degree of heart sickness for which there could be no cure.
I sat on my porch just now and the sun warmed my bones; it lightened the sidewalk to a near glow, and brought to mind a normal I once knew with the ignorance of one who has only ever known love and safety and, because of that, has no fear for the future. Oh how careless and reckless was I in the those early days, for my place in this world hadn't been contested. I had no need to prove my value for no one had questioned it.
Yes, the time came when I thought I would exist forever in a kind of purgatory of the soul, lost in a limbo of hot, perverted hands and the searing hope for a rescue that never appeared.
On the porch, then, my heart felt a slight uplift of hope as the sun warmed me. I've already begun eternity, I thought, nothing has changed after all. The sun isn't evil and I'm no less valuable than I ever was, for nothing can change what awaits for me at the end of my long, convoluted journey toward home.