The young woman looked about her at the room in which she found herself. Was it hers? It looked only vaguely familiar, but also somehow intrinsically part of her, as if she had been involved in its creation. Disordered and disarrayed, the outward chaos disguising the corners of hidden filth as well as the unseen beauty and depths submerged in the well of loneliness.
She had just turned twenty-one and was entering adulthood. She understood something of the cyclical, non-linear nature of life and knew she had been bestowed the blessing of a second chance.
“A chance to live well and be healthy,” said the voice within her, “and you have all the resources you need.”
The young woman pondered this, for her experience of life was different, although she had, over the years, gathered around her a cloak of wisdom, woven from the voices of the nurturing ones. The cloak had helped her through dark times and kept her warm and contained when the night-time fears threatened to shake the life force from her.
And now, she understood, she was being asked to become an adult and to take responsibility. The cloak would provide comfort, but the true answers lay within.
And now, she understood, she was being asked to ignore the distractions of the world, not to get caught up in the idea that she could quell her hunger and her longing through putting anything in her mouth. Not through love, nor worldly esteem, nor through the birth of a child. Not through the ravages of addiction, nor even through the beauty of a starlit sky.
She did, she understood, have all the resources she needed, for she only needed herself.
And she turned to the room, seeing and understanding the task that lay before her. Tears ran down her cheeks, telling the story of feelings so intense that she could not tell if they came from sadness, grief, relief or joy.
Carefully and tenderly she took off the cloak, lay it nearly across a chair and started to clean the room.