I hover closely to it.
Right there next to me – I can touch it.
Cut into the huge mountainous rock.
Its dark opening calls me closer.
Sometimes its mouth whispers, “Come in.”
Other times I yell into it, “Is anyone there?”
“Is anyone there?”, my voice echoes back.
Its emptiness looks formidable from where I stand.
Anxious about going inside, I’m afraid that I’ll be absorbed into the cave and
never get out.
Sometimes I stand on the edge of darkness and daylight too long
and, out of weariness, I decide to step inside.
Once I do, my eyes pick up unusual shapes.
Feeling solid ground beneath me, I hear drips of water.
The cave is more than an abyss, more than a void nothingness, – there is something inside.
My heart races.
Adventure speaks, “What if there is a treasure inside? I’ve heard about this type of thing. The best gems come from the darkest of caves.”
Taking a few more steps inward, my eyes adjust again.
I run my hand along the coarse, bumpy rock.
A rock formation reflects tiny specks of light that sparkle and shimmer far more beautifully than any manmade glitter.
My heart pauses.
Tempted to move forward, I hesitate.
“What happens if I keep exploring and don’t find my way back out of the cave?”
Or, “Maybe I won’t want to come back out? Maybe I’ll become a cave dweller.”
These concerns pull my legs back to the opening –
a safer place to be.
Although, as I look in and out at the same time, I can’t really see either side fully.
If I only considered that once inside the cave, the beauty of the sky would draw me back out.
Maybe I’ll take the risk and go in all the way.
Note: Since I experience my emotional world through metaphors, I have been thinking about the image of a cave and how it may be a symbol for the difficult parts of my story. Although I frequently think about and write about losing Leah, I realize there is something inside me that prevents me from going to the deepest part of my grief – almost as though it is an emotional cave. Am I too afraid to fully go into the grief for fear of getting stuck there? Afraid of what I’ll find?
On the other hand, I imagine there are beautiful gems, symbolizing my love, that I’ll find if I do choose to go deep. Gems such as memories. All this said, I think that I need to lean into trust – trusting myself and God that I won’t get stuck in the dark cave alone. Just as cave explorers need to get over their fears, I have to get over mine. Something to think about.
I hope this metaphor helps you as you consider something difficult that you are facing.