I’ve always wondered what it was like to travel with the pack.
To be accepted and have an “I” turn into a “we”, or learn to depend on others and have them place their trust in me. To forever avoid the fear of facing anything alone.
I’ve always wondered.
But all this wondering leads me nowhere. I’m still as I have been since the day I learned to walk. Ever since the minute I had my first words. I’ve always been afraid.
I’ve lived a blessed life. I’ve shared it with loving parents, wealthy at that, and always got what I wanted. But I wasn’t a spoiled brat, or a goody two shoes. I was only me, a unique child who asked for very little. I made sure to say “please” and “thank you” at the table. I always placed others needs before my own. I never forgot Mother or Father’s birthday and always got them a gift. And they loved me for that.
“You have something special in you Serenity,” my mother would tell me one night. She’d hold me close in her arms, braiding my silken hair reflecting the lovely beam of the full moon. “You have a beauty within you. One most people don’t have.”
One of my birthday presents rested in my hands on that day. As she spoke, I’d turn it over and over in my hands, marveling at its craftsmanship. I had only turned nine that day, spending another year with only my parents. I had no friends, only them.
So when she had finished speaking, I pulled myself away from her gentle, loving hands.
“If I have such a beauty, why doesn’t anyone else see it then?” I had asked her then, throwing down the wooden toy. I had a lump forming in my throat and my voice sounded broken. Mother gave me a sad look. It pained me to see her like that.
“You have a great kindness blooming in your heart,” she said to me gently, walking over to pick up my fallen gift. She came back over to my side and opened up my clenched hands. “It can be hard for people to see true beauty. All you need is a little patience and one day someone will notice how wonderful you are. ” The present was placed back into my hands. I looked at it sadly, wiping away any escaping tears.
“I want them to notice now, Mother. I don’t want to be alone anymore.” And just then, right on that bed, I cried on my birthday, hugging the wooden wolf figurine tightly against my chest. Mother felt saddened by the sight of my tears, and so she too began to cry along with me.
Far in the distance, away from where a young nine year old and her mother cried, the faded out cry of a wolf echoed through the mountains, a lost cry looking for his pack, howling mournfully into the dark night.
That was seven years ago. Today is my sixteenth birthday.