The wind it swirls today. The leaves have barely died, yet they are already stripped from the trees. These outward adornments no longer distract and the varnish is gone. All that is left is tatters of images floating by my face. The wolves howl, the guard dogs roar, and there is no silence to be found… the wolves are incredibly hungry, and they love nothing more than the taste of sheep.
The massacre is colorful, and few seem sad — other than the rancher and his family. Come one, come all and see the spectacle as the hounds tear each other to shreds. One acts from instinct, the other from training, but the blood is all the same. I watch the fight from afar and I know that I should want a winner. But as the fight drags on from dusk until dawn, all I can think of is the breeze. The wolves think of nothing but their hunger. The dogs think only of their duty. Both find the other to be a villain or a monster from the depth of Perdition.
In my mind it’s so easy. One step off the ledge, drop in the center, and try to bring a calm to the fight. I feel that I see the problem and the solutions feel simple, but part of me knows they won’t listen. I have thought and contemplated, among these drifting leaves and wanting to take the plunge. I walked to the edge of this jagged cliff, and I heard a small voice say, “don’t jump.” The struggle inside: to fall on that knife and try to make the hounds stop — and I know I’ll be torn to shreds — or to listen to that voice that whispers again, “don’t jump.” My foot extends into thin air as I fight for control… to lean or not to lean? To step or not to step? To fall and be torn apart in the name of peace or to obey and be safe while feeling useless? And the voice insists to me, “don’t jump.”
The howls grow louder and the carnage more visceral as the blood begins to flood the street. A mob is now cheering and taking bets against the factions. A drunken roar follows every blow like a boxing match gone horribly wrong. The wind whistles around me, who is balanced so precarious, and threatens to make my mind for me. But oh, the noise. I can’t even hear my own thoughts anymore, replaced by the sounds of bedlam. And suddenly over the sound the voice shouts to me, “DON’T JUMP.” Silence.
My mind returns to my own control, and I realize my own posture. My foot returns to the ground, and I step away from the ledge as it all comes back to me… the one who owns the sheep is the shepherd, and I am no one’s hound. All that is left is a shake of the head and my own wondering at the shepherd’s non-response. Today, I am alive because of a small voice.
I have thought and contemplated. I have pondered, inquired, wept and pontificated. I walked to the edge of the cliff and I heard a small voice say, “Don’t jump”. Though I have listened, I always wonder… what if I had?