I was walking through the field passing cattails and sunflowers when I saw her. She was only 10 yards away as she slowly put one paw in front of the other with her head low, prowling. She noticed me as I noticed her. I could see her robust shoulders with each fluid step she took. I saw strength in the way she carried herself; it was majestic. Her eyes were tunnels directly into her soul – and here I saw her courage, wisdom, and the fierce way in which she would protect her cub who was following closely behind. I saw fearlessness. I saw anger. I saw hunger. She was approaching me, and I stared right back at her with the same fierce courage and protection that I carried for my son. I didn’t dare her because I saw that we held the same fire inside. Her ears were alert, directed at me. Her jaw was ready, clenched – showing her anger and protective motherly instincts. The lioness stared at me; we had an understanding of our intentions. She took one more piercing moment of my soul then turned subtly over her right shoulder and continued her journey to the top of the hill that would overlook her world. Her cub followed close behind, as did mine. That’s when the mirror shattered into an unimaginable number of broken pieces, as one’s soul would shatter, and I found that there was no prowling lioness at all, only a reflection. I stared at the broken pieces for a moment and acknowledged that it was only a broken mirror, for you cannot shatter what is already broken. Except I had picked up my pieces and upon recreating myself, I shaped it into the lioness my heart showed me I could be: one who always protects her cub. Strength comes with rebuilding oneself. Fearlessness comes with rebuilding oneself. And courage comes with rebuilding oneself. I placed my hand on my son’s shoulder, and we continued to the top of the hill.
My friend Owen said to me the other day, “I think if a murderer ran into you, he/she would soon be running the other direction quite quickly. I feel like an aspect of you is so goddamn angry, it’s fearless…”