Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Holiday (04/05/12)
TITLE: Day of Jubilee
By Beth Muehlhausen
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I live alone – not as a recluse or hermit, but rather one delegated to solitary confinement. My world is a bubble. Everything in it is an extension of me. Everything in your world is in my bubble, too.
Those who love me, restrict me. I might eat something toxic, or jump from a second story window, or take off outside and walk into four lanes of busy traffic.
The truest thing about me is that I love to run. Running is the highest form of living. It takes everything I am and releases it – merges it with everything in my bubble. I love to run very fast, with my arms out like an airplane, even though I have no idea about aerodynamics. But I am not allowed to run. It is too dangerous.
One day I went to a big public park with so much grass everywhere. All I wanted to do was lay on the ground and feel it in my mouth. But my Daddy said, “Now Sean, we’re here so you can run. You need to get up.” Of course I didn’t understand. Words mean nothing to me. And yet he helped me stand on my own two feet, and pointed my face upward. “See, we are outside under God’s blue sky. GO, Sean! RUN!”
For a few seconds, I didn’t know quite what to do. No one held my arms or hovered protectively over me, directing my body in appropriate ways. Instead, a handful of adults were staked out around the perimeter of the enclosure like spotters at a gymnast meet.
And so I plunged through the fresh spring air with gusto, squealing and running as if my life depended on it. Intoxicated with freedom, I ran through the grass and the air and the bubble of everything that was and could be. I ran until I couldn’t run any more. Then I crumpled onto the soft grass and felt it with my tongue.
It took a minute for the closest person, my mother, to reach me. She picked me up, dusted me off, and made sure I was all right. “Was that fun, Sean?” I grunted, deep down, with guttural, absolute tones. I was more than all right. I was on vacation inside my bubble – the closest I’d ever come to being set free.
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