The Storm

Jennifer Dages, Editor in Chief Of Writing

Can you see it?

The young picture-perfect family, from down the street. The hardworking father, the show-stopping mother, and the beautiful little girl.

She’s adorned in ruffles and lace, smiling for the camera. The film capturing the moment in time, one that would become so precious to the girl. When she is older and reality has set in, that her picture-perfect family was never quite that. 

Her mother is synonymous with a wave, constantly being pulled back out into the world like the tide. She struggles with the actuality of being a mother, the long nights, emotional toll, and financial stress of a child. She is in constant motion, unable to settle, even for her daughter.

The unrelenting call for more distractions keeps the mother from the girl. Days, weeks, even months go by with no contact from her mother. But that is to be expected, reception is scarce in the deep. The girl understands, she knows her mother and the struggles she faces. The little girl leans on her father. 

Her father, the supposed definition of perfection, loves the little girl. He is constant in her life, never being pulled away. She knows this with absolution. As the little girl’s body grows, her mind, and perception do as well. Her father has a difficult time comprehending this change. 

He cannot fight his own upbringing to nurture the little girls’ newfound beliefs. He is like lightning, lashing out sporadically, irrationally, and always when water was near.

The girl loved them, her father the lightning, and mother the wave. The two had many children of the sea and sky. All would come to the girl for help and advice when the mother and father were missing. As she was the child with the most experience handling the dangerous combination. 

She had strong roots, like an oak, planted throughout the home. She loved the children as her own and wanted nothing more than for them to lead happy and healthy lives. She became a backbone for her home, creating the stability and comfort the children craved. Her mother was at war with the tide, and father at war with the storm, the girl loathed this about her family. The constant motion and inability to find a calm, that is all she wanted, calmness. 

The girl grew and grew until the ocean was too small for her. Her roots were deep, much deeper than expected. The idea of removing herself for the betterment of her own mental capacity was difficult. The memories of the photo are constant. 

Is leaving a betrayal?

Am I selfish for wanting this?

The girl knew the storm and tide would never cease; she knew nothing could calm this storm. So, she made a decision, she ripped the roots up. The little girl knew, only she could be the calm.