Over the Hedge
18 November 2004
I'm running. I'm jumping. I can hear the large stone sword crack the street behind me. I take a sharp left and feel my foot go out from under me; rather than fall flat, I push out with the other foot so I can roll. Pieces of asphalt fly around me and I shield my face with one hand as I use the other to push off the ground and scramble. I know She's telling me to focus. I can't hear her, but I feel myself trying to process her words. She wants me to know where the statue is, to think through my actions, to begin fighting back. I need to fight back.
I'm four years old and running through the trees with the roar of death behind me. I need to get away but I feel Her, even here, nudging me. Know your enemy.
I'm six years old in the desert with Abuela. She's tired and thirsty and trying to find words in a new language. I see a military uniform and try to run. She isn't as fast as she used to be and uses magic to catch me. I want to know why she didn't use it to save them. I scream.
The ground buckles under my feet. I jump. I can see it, now. The statue is staring right at me and I meet its gaze. She is beyond it, watching. Waiting. I know she isn't going to save me. I need to see the path myself.
Abuela teaches me to open my eyes and see the way. I'm afraid of the Hedge. The thorns only bite if you push against the Hedge. Let them guide you, learn to move with them instead of against them.
The world is breaking apart. I have trouble finding my footing. The flowing energy of the Realm is like a strong wind that refuses to slow down and be caught in the lungs. It bites to push against it. I'm not listening.
I take a deep breath and reach out with tiny hands and run my palm slowly along a thorn. I know which way it goes. I look at the other thorns and begin to see a path between them.
The statue is full of energy but not life. It moves without knowing how to move. I'm moving without remembering how to move. I see it struggle to turn the wrong way. I know what to do.
Abuela rests her hand on my shoulder and points. I see the path. I see the house in the clearing away from the soldiers. I see the way the world flows. I throw myself along the path. I reach out with adult hands and run my palm through the wind. The statue spins when I'm not where it expects. It raises its sword but not this time. This time I bring the storm with me. The roar of death follows me but I know this time it does not come for me.
I exhale, and close my eyes to feel the way. I know my enemy. I know what force I bring with me. I scream.
Nan looks at me in silence for a few minutes, then smiles.
"Saying it out loud helps, doesn't it?" I nod. "Do you know what you need to do?" I sit up, when did I start leaning forward? I sit up and look her in the eyes.
"I think I do. Thank you."
The blog of Jackie Veracruz.