The skies did not shine the way they were meant to today. Usually it would be a sea of blue resembling a field full of bluebells and larkspurs freckled with patches of cloud as soft as the feathers on the back of a songbird. The wind was so cold and gusty that when it blew at you with its ferocity, it felt like a boulder of solid ice was pushing you back. Summer days weren’t meant to be like this, summer days were meant to be… perfect. Stinky walked down the street looking down to the footpath. Most people would do so in the movies he had watched when they were feeling glum. The only thing he couldn’t do was put his hands into the side pockets of his jacket – it’s hard to do so when you didn’t have pockets or a jacket.
The shops were still open but in most of them their patrons had abandoned them today and had most probably found their comfort under a nice warm blanket. But this didn’t deter the shop owners optimism because their neon signs continued to flash and flicker and shine with enthusiasm. One sign read ‘Come in and have a chat’ which stood out from the rest. It looked tired as though it were the boring older brother of all the other vibrant signage. Its corners were covered in spider webs and the only reason why it was flickering was because the light bulb inside needed changing. But Stinky was taught from an early age that different is sometimes good. So he walked up to the door and opened it.
As the door swung open, it hit a bell hanging from the ceiling. It rung and rung like it was meant to, calling to whoever happened to be present that a stranger had opened the door and let themselves in. Out stepped a fragile old lady, her knitted cardigan look almost as old as the lady herself. She wore black pants with slippers and sported spectacles that hung on the tip of her nose. She tilted her head down to get a closer look at Stinky.
‘My oh my young lad. You look like you need to talk. Come on in and let us have a chat’.
Sometimes stories don’t always need to go into too much detail. I bet you were expecting me to then write about the conversation Stinky had with this old lady. Who was she anyway? I guess I will leave it up to you to decide what type of person she was and what her profession is. But I will be telling you about their little conversation albeit paraphrased and butchered into my own words. Stories are usually better retold in your own words otherwise it may seem too much like narration. I will cut out all of the chit chat and go to the crux of her comments. Who would have thought that an old lady would have so much wisdom? You? No way! So here goes.
She told Stinky to picture himself inside a cave. It was pitch black. Imagine standing and not knowing where you were, whether your next step will make you fall into an endless pit or whether your step backwards would make you hit your head on stone. You feel dizzy and your eyes are trying with no avail to adjust to the lack of light. You slide your feet along the ground inch by inch just trying to find something that could possibly guide you to freedom. One step, two steps, three and you finally touch the wall. You feel enjoyment. You feel as though there is a better chance of finding your way out. You hold onto the walls and continue to walk forward. You walk until you get tired and decide to give up but something tells you not to. Going back would only take you back to where you started. You never know because the few steps you take may make all the difference. You eventually see some light but you don’t let go of the wall. You don’t get too excited and run towards it because you may hurt yourself. You continue holding onto the wall until you make it out.
You see, the darkness in this story is life and the wall is hope. It guides you through times of difficulty and lets you know that it is there to help you make it out. Don’t ever trick yourself into thinking that there is no hope. It is there. Reach out and grab it. Hold onto it and let it guide you to overcome whatever it is you face. Take care.