By Sarah Spradlin
My soul weeps,
and its tears glisten in the fading sunlight;
emotions run out into the open, empty air of aloneness.
On my skin, they trim their graves with salt and
leave the ground beneath them thirsty
and cracked so that the light might reach my deepest places.
My soul weeps,
but, by God, I’m dancing,
wooden floor creaking as I slide into the safety of the arms of my Father
who seeks me here
in this place where I’ve hidden myself away,
in this place I’ve filled with the light of Walmart string lights and inverted desk lamps
and yellow paint that feels like a summer sunset in the mountains.
I remember the way he looked at me when he said not to give away my only lantern,
praying someone else might find Aladdin,
and leave myself in the dark.
My feet remember the steps, and my eyes are closed while I remember other things…
Like the way the roads there wind themselves up into the mountains
and waters spring up out of deep places.
Like what freedom is found in remembering the races I’ve already run—
the race I ran until my muscles cramped and my lungs ached with you that day.
It was either the feeling of joy or immanent death that made my heart feel so full
Oh, dearest heart, how far we have run,
how deeply I have felt the rhythm you carry in your depths,
waiting to be born and to be known
despite the weight of wandering without knowing.
As I lift my hands to praise the hands that brought me here,
I can still see the callouses from the way control ripped through my fingers
with the force of gods and wars they were never meant to own.
God, the way our dance floor keeps changing makes me feel like
I’ll never bring the right shoes, but
maybe that’s why You asked Moses to remove his.
Maybe it was so I’d never forget the way it felt under my feet
and the times I dug deep into that road that winds itself up into the mountains,
that slung me up so I could shake hands with the wind
Smile as wide as these roads are unwound,
where the springs seep out of the deep places and spill over my barefoot faltering,
washing away these tears borne on my skin
like they have already washed clean the heart of the mountain,
married with the earth,
and made things to grow.
I cling to that feeling of home,
finally tired of trying to drink through the straws I’m left to grasp at too often.
I’m diving into these still, spring waters,
dancing in these safe places
as You renew my soul and whisper,
Weep no more, for I am here;
weep no more, for joy,
your joy, dear heart,
comes with every sunrise
and every star I’ve hung in the in-between.
Sarah grew up in Georgia with her mom, dad, and little sister, Merry, where she attends the University of Georgia, majoring in International Affairs and Agriculture Communication. When she graduates, Sarah wants to help people all over the world succeed in the agricultural industry and tell the all-important story of the farmer. Sarah has been homeschooled, private-schooled, and graduated from Madison County High School in May 2015. She attended Summit in July 2015. She’s lived in Costa Rica for seven months, hung out in Panama for a few days, and dreams of visiting and working in Nicaragua. She’ll read pretty much anything and has tried her hand at almost every kind of writing, though she likes poetry best. But because writing bios is a struggle, if you really want to get to know Sarah, shove some words in her general direction on her instagram @sarah.spradlin or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.