Some Sort of Belonging

21 Jul

It all begins with a newborn’s first cry. I guess if you are going to begin somewhere, there is not much further back you can go.

She enters the world, not understanding why this warm space she’s been taking up is fading away. The room she enters is cold, sterile, unfriendly.

I wanna go back! She yells, the moment her lungs are clear.

Which way is home?

In the arms of her mother, she senses relief. Warmth. Familiarity. This is where I belong.


(Fast forward 10 years.)

Screams of another kind fill her head.

You are strange.
You will never be like her.
You will never be good enough
Your toes are funny shaped
Your knees are knobby
You have that weird bump on your nose
Your eyelashes are too short.
You get nervous when you try to speak.

Panicking, frantically, she asks whoever made her to allow her to grow into someone beautiful, someone normal, someone wanted.

She decides to run away, though it’s not like the books she reads where the orphan gets beaten with a broom handle by her evil aunt. She doesn’t really have a good excuse, she knows her parents love her, at least most of the time. She almost wishes she had a good reason to leave, but something else beyond logic, beyond what she’s read about, beyond feeling unworthy drives her.

She runs into the forest, as fast as she can, catching herself from nearly tripping over logs with her long legs, hands in front of face avoiding jagged branch right at eye height.

She sees a clearing and falls, exhausted.

Sitting in the still woods, surrounded by live things taller and stronger then her, trees that have stayed planted, that know who they are, who pushed their way through the ground towards the sunlight, who know stand proudly.

I am lost,

She whispers, even though she can easily find her way back.


(Skip ahead another 10 years.)

She stands, finally grown into herself, among a crowd of peers. She’s moved four times in the past two years. She’s opened her heart, her bed and her mind, only to find herself left aching and alone. She’s tried to connect, to define herself within a context of a man’s words, a group of friend, a good education.

Yet she feels like a branch that has been snapped off the tree it came from.

Which way is home?

At the point of losing it all, she finds herself in another forest, tall buildings planted around her, the offices of successful, “happy”  people. Buildings that were planned, wanted, designed to be aesthetically pleasing. She runs, past throngs of people, people who she perceive know exactly who they are and where their place in the world is.

She runs, oblivious to shouts and stares around her. She runs till her legs give out and she finds herself on the pavement, knobby knee skinned, red dripping out, and then comes the rush of tears and she feels like she’s 9 or maybe 3 and she wants nothing more then for her mother or a man with a kind face and genuine heart, to simply put their hand on her back somehow let their touch bleed through into her aching heart.

I am lost.

She whispers, even though she is kneeling outside the park she frequently walks in.

Just then,  she senses relief. A feeling of some sort of…. Belonging.

Warmth. Familiarity.

An air too fresh to come out of the city.

Something ancient, something alive, stirring the green leaves of a tree standing in front of her.

Somehow she knows there is a love that won’t leave, that won’t find a single fault in her,

that might even be her home.


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2 Responses to “Some Sort of Belonging”

  1. Nate Brager July 23, 2011 at 10:25 am #

    Brooke, this is amazing. You are one of my favorite writers. Without exception. The more famous you become, the more I’m going to drop your name into conversations in a effort to make myself look better. I hope you are okay with that. 🙂

    • brooke July 23, 2011 at 6:07 pm #

      Nate! Thanks you are too kind. 🙂

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