“Darkness is not the opposite of Light. It is simply the Absence of Light” – Terry Pratchett.
Trauma changes you forever. You may heal and find the light again, but you will never be the same person you used to be. The imminent possibility of death is so dark, and in another way so light, you will for ever after see the light in a different way. It becomes confusing to distinguish between darkness and light.
It changes how you see life, and once you have longed for death, life has completely changed who you are. The strangest thing is that the thought of death can be the only thing keeping you alive.
I don’t mean to be cryptic, so I make these statements in a very general way. People who have known darkness will not need to hear my individual story to understand. I may write about it at a later point, or not. For now it is still too raw. Those memories and feelings need to stew and become tender and we all know that is a long slow process.
For about a month after trauma struck, I could not go anywhere. I hid in my cave. I was shattered inside and I could not even talk to anyone. Bev is one of my handful of best friends. She is one of the people who is dragging me through this time of my life where the darkness threatens to overwhelm the light. When I finally called her and proclaimed that I needed help, she came over. I still did not want to talk. I couldn’t, or thought I couldn’t. She understood without a word.
We decided to go wine tasting, just to get out. It was a sunny day and we went to a wine farm just about up the road from where I live. The world still existed, which came as a bit of a shock and a surprise. I remarked on the fact that we had never gone wine tasting together, and we were amazed at this fact. We drove down a dirt road lined with beautiful, big pine trees and Bev got excited about all the pinecones lying around. Winter was coming and with it, fireplace season!
We reached the wine farm and followed the signs to the tasting room. It looked very quiet, but there was one car in the parking lot, and an open door upstairs. We went to inspect. I tried the knob of the big wooden door… The next moment the alarm started blaring, and like naughty kids we just ran away, laughing.
Back on the road, we stopped and collected a bag full of pinecones, and drove off again. Bev saw another, very pretty, large-with-extraordinary-firestarter-potential pinecone that she simply had to have, and she said she was going to stop next to it, and I had to grab it. I loosened my seat belt, opened the car door and leaned out to snatch up the prize pinecone. Nope, too far away. I leaned over further… and fell out of the car.
I managed to break my fall, with my arm extended, and at the same time grabbed the now super-amazing pinecone. I pushed myself back up, and in one fluid, elegant movement (that’s my story and I am sticking to it) I grabbed Bev’s outstretched hand and I was back in the car.
We giggled all the way to the next wine farm, recounting the story. Bev decided James Bond could not grab pinecones the way we could, and a new phrase was coined: 007 Pineconing.
And there was light.
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