happiness

A Wandering Soul’s Plea: May I Come Home?

She is old.

She may be 17, 42, or 100, but in her heart she is old; she is old and she is weary. She knows no relief; even rest and sleep provide no reprieve. The world extends out before her, tinted by weariness. Everything appears parched, grey, dusty and wanting — comfortless.

She pleads: “Please, may I come home?”

A thousand paths has she traveled, each one promised joy — promised peace. She has sought salvation driven by endless, insatiable need. She has fanatically gleaned every gratification the world has to offer — greedily she has consumed it all.

She has known intoxicatingly fervent new love, delectably delicious fare, and the unsurpassed distractions of modern entertainment. Beauty, attention, and pleasure have never enduringly satisfied.

No longer blind to the illusions of hope, she is left threadbare and worn.

“Please, may I come home?”

She moves on. The path, now seen clearly, is cracked, dry and lifeless. Dust rises with each step — one step then one more.  She travels a road she knows is endless and barren. Days, weeks, months, and years — so turns the great wheel of samsara.

“Please, may I come home?”

Along the way, she stops to comfort the dying and lay to rest the dead. She envies the dying. Life in a body soon to be over — what succeeds soon to be remembered. She longs for the slow fade of death; bodies wasted, ghoulish and putrid. Decay as recycled fertility devoted to the earth.

It is the way of it, and it is good. She observes the flesh hanging from bone, her bones. Her bones many years brined in fatigue; they wither. Her scapulae crumbling from rot born of weariness.

“Please, may I come home?”

No longer can she carry on. She halts and sits — back against a large, long-dead cedar tree — its barren branches extending upward toward the sky.

“Please, may I come home?”

She leans into the tree, closes her eyes — her body completely still. Yet within restlessness ceaselessly rages a constant agitation and exhausting discontent.

“Please, may I come home?”

She is defeated, weathered, and spent. In the deepest, blackest depths of her being, something cracks and she is smashed open. Utter devastation. With ragged breath she cries out:

“Please, please, may I come home?”

The world falls away and everything is still. A memory explodes within the stillness: Home.

A feeling begins to tingle in her feet: Love. Love as fire. The fire that is Love rushes upward through her body. It incinerates all confusion, consuming all illusions until there is Nothing.

Nothing is the sweetest thing she has ever known.

Nothing has gently removed all things she ever believed about the world, and in gratitude she weeps.

Nothing has mended the sick need for anything other than this moment, right now, exactly as it is. While resting as nothing but a gentle awareness, she feels a slight breeze caress her cheek; it whispers: “You are home.”

A winter bird, filled with joy, takes flight overhead and sings out: “You are home.”

As she opens her eyes, she knows:

“I am nothing, I am everything, and I am home.”

*****

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Abby Pingree
Abby Pingree spent the first seven years of her life in a hippie commune. She is currently a hospice nurse, mother, and student of life. She has made friends with her own experiences with drug addiction, bulimia, dishonest and dodgy behavior by simply telling the truth. She now seeks an authentic life, and has the privilege of helping others. She writes for Elephant Journal and blogs for Huffington Post. She can be found on Facebook and Twitter.
Abby Pingree
Abby Pingree

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