The house I grew up in sat on the top of a long, winding hill on the edge of town. The backyard was filled with trees, a bona-fide forest, filled with magic and imagination and sometimes even monsters.
My mother’s rule was to never let the house out of your sight when you were in the woods. I was an obedient child and the thought of getting lost terrified me, so I never did.
One day I was wandering by myself, our tall brown house still visible between the trees. I paid no attention as I ambled, looking under moss and trying to find a good tree for climbing. As I climbed over a large fallen tree, I looked up and found myself to be standing in a place where the sun shone through the branches, perfectly illuminating a bed of ferns.
I sat in the middle of them, a small girl surrounded by budding life and possibility. I don’t remember how long I stayed. I don’t even remember how old I was. It’s just a memory, ageless, timeless, that will stay with me, always.
Months later, I went back, through the woods to find the ferns again. I never could.
I keep waiting for something to fall into my lap; an answer to all the questions I’ve been asking. I keep waiting. Work didn’t make it happen. School didn’t make it happen. Marriage didn’t make it happen. Motherhood didn’t make it happen. I’m waiting, still, staring in the mirror until I realize that staring back at me solemnly, tiredly, is a women who is quickly approaching 30 and knows little more than she did at 20.
As I finally start actually listening to the things that people have been telling me for years, it dawns on me that nothing will drop from the sky. There is no one answer waiting to be discovered.
My finger hovered over the mouse as I nervously read the submission guidelines for a Canadian Literary Journal yesterday. My heart fluttered and I thought of something I’d written last year. Should I? Dare I? Surely it’s silly and full of cliches. The piece needs work still and maybe even a (gentle) but unbiased eye, but I may. I just may. The funny thing is, the act of actually submitting it makes me more nervous than the thought of it being rejected.
Answers. They do come eventually, don’t they? They’re just significantly more liquid than I’d like.