My Wild

She hides. The light scares her. The loud and bustle scare her.
She wasn’t always like this. Someday she’ll come out again. Someday she’ll remember.
She is My Wild.

I sit quiet and whisper to her, “tell me again…”
She whispers back in tales of all we once were, all we could be.

The Wild in me says “let’s go back to school”
She lines up highlighters in pretty colors and shows me sticky notes to mark important pages. She lets the smell of new textbooks and worlds undiscovered waft across my nose. She echos to me the words I once uttered, I want my doctorate. She smiles at the thought of another diploma on the wall. She is eager.

The Wild in me says “let’s climb a mountain”
Her boots are always ready, slightly muddy from the last adventure. Scuffs across the toes remind her of the hard-fought treks that led her to the top over and over again. The air feels less complicated and smells more peaceful up here. It’s as if we can see the world from these peaks. Even through the clouds, we feel what is beneath us. We have conquered earth that refused to be beaten down. From here we find our next mountain, out there in the distance. And from there we will see another. Like picking our favorite from a box of assorted chocolates. She says “I want them all.”

The Wild in me wants to shout “who cares?” at 80% of news reports, and “dig deeper” at the other 20%
She turns away from stories about a celebrity wedding or divorce. She clings ferociously to one about wasted resources. She sighs audibly at breaking news that is nothing more than gossip. She begs longingly for more about the children reaching out in love, about the organizations helping others, about the myriad of ways we can be a part of lifting our fellow humans out of darkness. She aches for depth.

The Wild in me says “let’s dance again”
Our pointe shoes lay in a box in the basement growing dusty, growing moldy. Rosin residue muddies the leather sole. Graceful, lyrical movement memories muddy our soul. Our toes still tap at the first notes of 42nd Street or Cups. The Buck and Wing still crashes through our dreams from time to time. Those butterflies we feel when certain music plays – they want to be set free to spread their wings and fly around the studio like we did so many years ago. Arms reaching out to nothing and to everything, legs stretched to the edge of promises, backs and necks arched with grace, with power, with exhaustion.  We were happy then. Do you remember? she asks. I remember.

The Wild in me says “let’s travel”
She is drawn to pictures from the National Parks.  She dreams of nights under the Aurora Borealis. She wants to see Egypt and Greece and Sweden and Nepal. She dreams of Ireland and Australia and Peru. She wants to surf The Wave in Arizona and hike a glacier in Denali. She wants to comfort rescued animals in Kenya and build schools and clean water systems in Haiti. She wants to be touched by a sun she’s never felt, smell flowers she never knew existed, rub her hands in dirt made from history she doesn’t yet know. She wants the world to help make her bigger. She is adventurous.

The Wild in me craves a tattoo
She plays a slideshow of graceful lines and purposeful designs. The Phoenix rises from her pages. The unalome balances her cries. Celtic dreams circle and cross and land in the center, waiting to be held and admired and made permanent. It is not an ugly mark, it is a promise filled with honor and respect and hope. She breathes slowly, imagining where the reminder should be held.

The Wild in me wants to see all the shows
She lets bits of a libretto roll through my sleepy brain. She quietly plays the score of a hundred musicals and operas in an almost forgotten part of my mind. She cries out in dramatic soliloquy, in passionate tragedy, in roaring comedy. The lights dance in colors and shapes that change our view. The curtains rise and fall, and we beg to watch them open again. In the dark, the world melts away and we focus on the world of make believe laid before us by people pretending. We pretend to be taken away with them, enveloped in their story for a few hours. She doesn’t understand how we can love the theatre so much and let anxiety keep us home. There are shows to love and to learn and to disappoint and to try if only we could GO. Just take a step, and another, we can see them all. Why does it matter where? Why do the other people make it hard? Please. She wants to celebrate.

The Wild in me says “let’s fall in love”
She holds my hand, soft and loving. It’s been a long time since someone took my hand with care. She reminds me of long car rides and deep conversations. She lays photos before me of trips, and concerts, and backyard picnics all filled with smiles. She plays a soundtrack of laughter and admiration and praise. I feel the depth of devotion and the work of commitment deep in my heart. It’s there, waiting for someone to wake it, gently. I’m not ready to trust again, but she says we are. She is lonely.


She is My Wild. She waits patiently for me to let her lead again.

In time, I tell her.     Soon.

She knows it won’t be soon. But she doesn’t give up. She is My Wild and she will not be tamed.


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