Every morning, upon awakening, she made herself a cup of tea – with a healthy splash of creamer – and sat out on the porch to listen to the birds. As they sang, she unravelled the ball of yarn she carried within her soul. She pulled the dark and tangled thread, easing out the kinks and untying the little knots that would make creating with it rather difficult. Most days, she wasn’t able to unravel the yarn completely before being pulled away from the birds and their songs for other duties – more often than not, she would hastily wind her work up and stuff it down inside of her, causing more knots and more tangles to form.
Once the children were awake, she had little silence to sit and do her work which often meant that those kinks in her ball of yarn would have to wait for the next moment when there was enough silence to hear the crickets and the birdsong.
She had learned, long ago, that those around her preferred a tame and well-mannered and respectful young woman – there was no place for unravelling, for the wild soul that lived within her. She was taught to be silent unless spoken to, to lock all of the feelings within her spirit in a box and hide them away from the world.
No one wanted to experience the crashing waves of her daily grief, no one wanted to feel the raging flames of wild-fire that burned under her skin. She held a gale of pain and thoughts in her mind, and the earthquakes that trembled within her bones longed to topple mountains – but she hid them, and she hid them well until it all burned through her mask and buried those around her, drowned them and stole the very breath from their lungs.
They would never understand, those people that sought to tame her and to silence her – they would never understand the tremendous amount of effort it took for her to breathe deeply and move on through the battering elements that raged in her spirit as if they did not exist. They would never understand the grief and the guilt and the pain she felt after letting loose, after erupting in the face of their hurtful words and actions. They could never understand the work she did, daily, to keep herself from lashing out, from calling forth all of the power of her rage to inflict on them what they had done to her for so many years. They felt attacked, they felt belittled, they felt like victims under her screams of pain and fear – yet, what they did to her was perfectly within their rights as elders, as authorities, as people who demanded respect, but did nothing to earn it aside from age.
She longed for the trails of the wildwood, for the uninhabited forests where she could unravel all of the dark yarn within, and dance with the moon and in the rain and beneath the stars. She longed for the freedom to express herself, whether through screams or through song. She longed for the peace of the meadows and the hills and the rushing river waters where she could be as wild as her soul compelled her to be, unashamed and unfearing of the society that had chained her.
Moreover, she longed for the gentleness that hid, deep within her. The gentleness that, should she finally be able to unravel completely, she knew would finally drift to the surface. She missed it, the gentleness that whispered to her from within that tangled ball of yarn, hidden behind all of the things she pushed deep down into the pits of her soul.
She knew that one day, the time would come when she could finally finish the work she had set out to do. However, she also knew that that particular day was not for some time, and so she would continue to unravel what she could before being called away to some other place, for some other reason. She would continue to push it all down, to apologise to those around her when she could no longer hold them tightly away from the surface.
The wildness called to her, just as much as the gentleness did, but she hushed their pleas as she finished her tea and left her work to another day.