RODNEY B., IOWA
There once was a tiny seed in the dark and cold. It was still and content in that way only true ignorance can provide and that comes when one has come to a stalemate with Hope.
Hope, that crusher of dreams, that thief of for always, the taker of souls and also the divine and yet . . . a catalyst for change and the impetus pushing beyond the limits of instinct.
Still the seed sat, not thinking, but maybe a type of thinking in that way that only comes from Hope. So the seed kept Hope in check, burying it inside the inside of the inside in that third place where no one knows. There Hope dwelled in its tiny existence, waiting.
Then it happened: The seed felt warmth never imagined and was encompassed by a nutrient-rich environment that stirred the Hope inside to push and push until the seed could hold out no longer and burst forth.
Then there was a sprout. It was tiny, eager and full of life in that way that only comes with the innocence at the nascence of creation.
“What am I?” Sprout asked. “Where did I come from?”
“Love,” said Sprout’s parents. “You are Love.”
Love’s parents were wonderful parents. They nurtured Love and denied her nothing and the symbiotic trio grew in joy as they all basked in the glow of Love’s beautiful radiance.
“What are these?” Love asked one day, looking down at her own body.
“Those are your roots. That is how you are fed, one from me and one from Momma,” Daddy said. “They gave you life and will grow you big and strong.”
And grow Love did. She blossomed beyond any expectation her parents could have imagined. She brought joy and developed her own personality as she was nourished by her parents. Then one day Love felt ill. Not terribly so, but in a way she couldn’t understand, and it was not long before it struck: a blinding flash of pain as one of Love’s roots was torn from her. She thrashed about seemingly in the throes of death and nearly pulled free her one remaining life line.
“Ssshhh, be still,” Daddy said.
“Daddy, I’m dying,” Love cried. “Help me!”
Daddy said nothing, but merely held Love close while producing another line from himself, connecting it to Love’s severed root.
“No Daddy, you can’t. I can’t lose you too,” Love sobbed.
“I am strong. Relax, my Love, and let me tell you a story,” Daddy replied.
And Daddy went on to tell Love how she had grown from a seed and how she had been loved to be Loved, that she was stronger than she knew.
“What happened to Momma?” Love asked.
“Hope got her, my child,” Daddy answered.
“Why did Hope take Momma?” Love asked, nestling deeper into Daddy’s arms. “I hate that mean old Hope.”
“Don’t say that, he didn’t mean to. He was trying to live too. You see, like all things, Hope cuts both ways. Some Hope is needed, but left unchecked, and he just consumes too much,” Daddy replied.
“Will Hope take you too, Daddy?” Love asked.
“No, my Love,” he replied.
“Still, I could never be like Hope,” Love said.
“I need to show you something,” Daddy said, brushing aside a blossom of Love to reveal that her other side was, in fact, Hope. Love recoiled in disgust, pressing harder into Daddy’s arms.
“Relax,” Daddy said, calming Love. He explained to her that without Hope, Love couldn’t exist, and without Love, Hope couldn’t exist.
“I miss Momma,” Love said.
“Me too,” Daddy answered “But try this: Close your eyes and picture her.” Love did so. “Can you feel her?”
“I can, Daddy,” Love said.
“As long as you can feel her, she’s always with you,” Daddy said.
“And we won’t get weak and die with you feeding me all by yourself?” Love asked.
“No, my Love. . . . Do you want to know a secret?” Daddy asked.
“Yes!” Love said as she sat up excitedly.
“Do you trust me?” Daddy asked.
“Of course,” Love answered. So Daddy slowly and gently reached down and loosened the lines connected to Love’s roots. Love began to panic, but Daddy soothed her as he eased her free from her moorings.
“You see, Momma and I started that which gave you life, but now you are your own,” He said. Love looked around, adjusting to her newfound freedom. She zipped about to and fro, feeling a strength flow through her that she never knew existed before. After adjusting to her newfound freedom Love settled in front of Daddy.
“What do I do now? Where do I go?” Love asked.
“Where do you want to go?” replied Daddy.
“With you, Daddy. After all . . . I’m your Love,” she said.
“Then with me and in my heart you will be, my Love. Forever and always, safe and secure in knowing that absence does not part, but only lack of Love,” Daddy said. And with that, Love lived.