A Torch for Your Canyon


A golden warmth lines the horizon in the distance. In what's left of these small, blue hours -- when night is nearing its cosmic end and the sun is vibrating the world around us to life -- your head fizzles with seven-year-old dreams. I stand next to you, and I know you don't yet understand hatred, war and evil. The water around your thoughts has not yet been poisoned with the reality of Man. And maybe it's not my job to tell you.

Maybe I'm just supposed to pray, or worse, stand back and let that reality come to you as it does all of us -- in short, unexpected bursts. Will I someday leave you in a foreign land of monsters and canyons? Will we get better or will we grow worse? Will you encounter this reality and become a peacemaker, or will you be lost to the current?

My God, being a mother is more than packing your lunch for school. You sprouted from cells on a long shot, against one in three trillion odds. Surely that must count for something. Have I told you enough about love? Have I helped make a place for you here? Strength doesn't matter nearly as much as love, because strength is a quality of darkness and light. But love, that’s only the sun’s affair.

I am a mother, charged with the greatest task on Earth. I am one in a legion of extraordinary people. There is enough of us. Darkness is just a collection of shadows in the canyon, and I am to give you a torch.

You will be a guide for the others. You will be a shadow-slayer, armed with your torch and a sword. As dreams near their end and as the world wakes up on a Friday, I hope we all come to see the great shadow as a surmountable opponent. We are endowed with divine weaponry. There is enough of us. You and I are among them.

And it helps that God made you a redhead.