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Unburdening – Nine

December 26, 2006

Writing Prompt:
Are you carrying too heavy a burden on this journey?
Do you feel like you are dragging a heavy load?
Leave something at the side of the road.
Enchanteur will have this tireless bearer of loads come and take your burden away.

Descansos
Written: October 29th, 2006

She removed her hand from the handprint and was startled as the door swung open, then closed behind her. Letting her eyes adjust to the dim light, Maria looked around at the walls covered with artwork. Many artists, many styles, and many travellers already passed through this entrance and left their mark. Maria sighed and sat on a smooth boulder.

She opened the bag that she kept close to her breast and removed a small scroll. It was a smaller version of her life scroll that she sacrificed in the Manti-La Sal wilderness. On this scroll, she recorded the joys and sorrows of her life – crossroads and turning points – roads taken and missed opportunities. The task seemed easy when she started. It was to be a scroll of descansos – small deaths.

She began with a large sheet of paper – six feet long. At the top, she put her current age and at the bottom, she put her birth date. She divided it by decades. For weeks, the scroll took up floor space in her dining room – colored pencils and markers scattered everywhere. Often she would find herself leaving the laundry or the cooking to go to the scroll to record another memory.

As the weeks passed, she floated in memories long forgotten. She relived many of the poignant moments from childhood and marked milestones of death and loss. Night dreams and day dreams surrounded her. Often the scroll received bapstismal waters from her tears.

Deciding what to include and what to leave out was initially a problem. In her struggles of the last few years, she lost her ability to categorize events of her life as good and bad. Every loss, every sorrow, every bitter disappointment created an opportunity. Every success, every joy, every celebration inevitably contained the seeds of the next loss. So, she decided to ignore her teacher and do her own thing. Maria often made things up as she went along. This was one of those times.

By the time she completed her scroll, it recorded hundreds of events – small and large, happy and sad, mundane and profound. When the time came to sacrifice the scroll to the fire, no fear or doubt remained in her heart. Sweet, sweet, surrender! With a joyful heart, she thanked the universe for every experience and watched the scroll of her life devoured by the flames.

Written: 10/29/06

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