I can hear the rain pelting the doors of my storm shed. Around me I see nothing but darkness. No windows. Just cracks for the air to come through. I have everything I need here. Food, water, warmth. Why bother going outside. Outside is nothing more than constant danger. Storm after storm threatening to take my life. No. I’ll stay inside where I’m safe.

People have tried to get me to join them outside, but it’s always a trick. Once I open the shutter doors and step outside the storms roll in. The thunder and the lightning strike. Making me run for cover. Some of them have even tried to steal my safe place. They pretend to need something then they try to force their way in. Some of them succeed… And I spend years trying to reclaim my safe space. I’m alone in it now. I’m safe now.

But someone keeps knocking at my door. It’s a man. I told him to go away. I can’t help him. He just stays by the door and talks to me. He describes the beauty I’m missing.  Says there is a wide open world outside of my shelter. I’m barely listening. I know he’s trying to steal my shelter. I keep the door closed, but everyday he comes back. And talks to me. And everyday he asks me to come out. And everyday I stay in. Being safe. In here no one can hurt me. In here there are no storms. But he keeps knocking.

He describes to sun as a beautiful bright ball giving life to everything around it. He tells me that it heals all the damage the storms bring. That the rain washes away the debris. He even believes the moon has healing properties. Healing. He keeps talking about healing. I’m not hurt. That’s why I’m in the shelter to keep from getting hurt, yet. I begin to crave the outside. And everyday he knocks on the door and invites me outside.

I stand at the door, face pressed against the wood. Wanting to brave the world, but I’m terrified of the storms, the lightning, the rain, the damage. Yet pressed against the door I can feel it pulsing. He calls to me again, but this time I open the door. It’s so bright. All I see in bright light. I’m about to close the door when a hand grabs mine. It’s soft and warm. It pulls me from the darkness into the light. As my eyes adjust I see him. He’s beautiful. His eyes are a beautiful bluish grey as if they were the sky. His skin is soft yet his face is rough to the touch. So much lighter than mine. My skin… It was once a delicious coco… now it’s a greyish color. I try to shrink away. And he reminds me that nature can heal all ailments. And pulls me further away from my shutter.

My mind is racing. Is he trying to steal my home? Why is he here?  He looks at me. Deep into my eyes. It feels like he’s touching my soul. Then I feel it. The rain. It begins to hit my skin. I try to break free from his grip to run for cover, but he won’t let me. Instead he pulls me into his arms and tells me all I need to endure the storm is an umbrella and higher ground. Confused he grips my hand and we run. Running in the rain. I stumble but we keep going. Running for higher ground. I feel the cold puddles of mud underneath my feet, the prickly grass, the cold water hitting my skin and I am unafraid. I run with him. Every step freeing me. Every step I forget why I locked myself in that shed. Every step my skins begins to glow again.

When we finally stop running, he shows me what I’ve been missing inside that shelter. It shows me the rainbow at the end of the storm. He looks me in the eye tells me it’s a promise. A promise that even in the worst storm. There is something beautiful on the other side. I marvel at the color and turn to look behind me to see where I had been. It seemed like such a long distance between the shed and me now. But in between there was grass greener than I’d every seen. The trees we’re tall and full. The flowers were if full bloom. They were pink, yellow, purple. I had never seen so many colors. From behind me, he says that this is what the journey is about. And if you give up and sit down in the middle you will never know what the end looks like. And the end is worth the storms.

I look around and he’s no longer there. At first I feel terrified, but then I remember where I had just come from. I look back at small shack in the middle of a giant clearing. Turning my back to it I start to move forward. On the ground there is a coat an umbrella.  I pick them up and think maybe I’ll bump into him on the road somewhere. Something tells me I won’t, but I keep moving on. I can feel  a storm coming, yet I’m not afraid. After all, all one needs to survive a storm is higher ground and an umbrella.