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Scout on Gratitude/And Yet

 The office was the only place that sunlight didn’t reach. On fall afternoons, when I sit in cold corners on stiff chairs, I forget the warmth of the Sun. The familiar face seated across from me was more fixed than the contents of the room, never influenced by the inhabitants of its environment. I enjoyed it; it was comforting for something in my life to stay constant when nothing else ever could. Yet today, I wanted something different. I wanted something better. The feeling of speaking without concern or return had become a burden, not a privilege. Today I wanted to be understood rather than heard. The forms of these walls could no longer contain what my heart and mind released from the restraints of my fragile frame.

Complaints, grievances, and anything else worth mentioning were spoken, yelled, and expressed. The face would listen, would care, but not feel. Feelings must be shown; feeling twists the face in every direction, fighting its own urges for self-expression. I called on something else today, something without opposition. I called on the brightness that I wished could melt my frozen gratitude. I called on the ever-encompassing, ever-surviving, ever-resilient presence of those who grew quietly. Just as I called, the vines stationary on the weary brick walls entered through the window, destroying the weak establishments of mankind in a show of God’s power.

The ground crumbled and shook as the sprouts and buds of the bushes and flowers gave way to the sun. Trees that were always immovable shook in the wind, their leaves grateful for the stability of their roots. Branches escaped the restraints of their wooden nature to shake my hand, to let me know that I was not alone, to let me know that this blank face was not the only living creature sharing my weight. The wind was halted in its power, knowing that it was no longer the most powerful force in the atmosphere.

“You dare to complain when this is all a tool for you?” the wind asked. “You express to those who don’t grow into the ground, who don't fight the wind and lean to the sun? To those who will never understand the strength necessary for growth because they don’t work for it?”

To that, the stars bowed, and the sun hid. Even the strongest of entities could not help the one that they provided for, for even God could not argue that my breath was often wasted. I exhaled not to the entities that desired it but to rooms where my puffs bounced off the walls and froze the atmosphere. The beings that needed the gratitude to survive would not receive it, and each room I would enter would become slightly colder. 


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