Sunday, January 9, 2011
Unto this world am I born, naked and hungry. My only thought; my next meal. Wealth, love, power are but strangers to me. They are but steps on the stairs that life now presents me. Neither pauper nor king, I have no need for solicitous and salacious council. Mothers’ milk is all I crave.
The years pass. I stand on the stair that has presented me with my eighteenth year. Well schooled and surrounded by accomplices, I look back on what has brought me to this point in my climb; and indeed, what must surely lie ahead. Elizabeth. She has seen me fall and has help bind the bleeding wounds. Is what I feel love? Or in fact, familiarity. Time and life’s stairs seem to have blurred my vision of the two.
I am on my thirty second stair. The rigors of life have left their mark. Elizabeth, the ever faithful wife, has managed to somehow raise our children well; in spite of my absence due to a war I embraced too dearly. My cost was too dear. But my holdings are great and will see my seed well. And though my dreams are filled with horrors, there is much I am thankful for.
My fiftieth stair. I am surrounded by much jubilation and love. Although I have tried to dissuade my sons and through my mind’s eye, show them that in war, honour and valour are in general dispensed amongst the dead, they have never the less followed a young mans folly. There can be no joy in the outcome.
I teeter at the top of the seventieth stair. Looking back, time has not diminished the sorrow of the loss of my youngest son in the war. Elizabeth became distant, those so many years ago, and came to blame me for my sons wanting to follow in the footsteps of their father. I no longer have any words with which to comfort her. She bears my existence and lavishes her love on the grandchildren. My bed has grown cold; my soul has grown numb; and my accounts have grown large.
I lie on the eightieth stair of my life. Surrounded by loved ones, I lie dying; alone. I am afraid, but refuse to show it. There will be no more stairs for me. My climb is done. Looking back on all those stairs, I realize that each and everyone has been a blessing. My stairs now to be turned to golden ones leading to a higher place, I take my leave. I arrived in the world cold and hungry, but I now leave satiated and warm with love.
These are the stairs we must all climb.
For the prompt at Theme Thursday.