Walking in the woods, in the chill shade, I spot a clearing far ahead, illuminated by sunlight. I am overcome with the thought: I want that. So I make my way towards it at a determined pace, still in shadow, only to discover, to my dismay, a tall, forbidding fence between me and the warmth I can see beyond.
The sunlit clearing seems suddenly more alluring, necessary, urgent.
But there is no crossing to it, and I feel a small hole of want forms in my throat.
Quickly I turn away, from the thwarted path, from the feelings of urgency and emptiness. I spot the lake, then, placidly blanketing the horizon. I want that. A bird calls in a nearby tree and I want that.
The hole in my throat opens into a cavity of longing through my chest, gaping, aching.
What is it that I am needing, I ask. The wanting has turned to yearning, deep, soulful; but for what? For what I cannot have, whatever that is.
I feel the impulse to turn away from the emptiness and longing, to turn to something, anything, rather than have to feel it.
But… I am here, in the shadows of the forest, with the lake beckoning and the birds calling. So I don’t turn away. I sit in silence, allowing the emptiness. I sit in its hollow company.
The sun makes its way through the leaves and rests on my neck. I find, suddenly, that I am full, regardless.