Once upon a time there was a little girl that grew up knowing this was a big big world. She knew that she was but a tiny tiny speck in this big big world, for that is what those she grew up with told her so. This little girl grew up tightly bound, wrapped in a bondage she didn’t like, and tried so very hard to escape from. Her captors taunted her, telling her she could never leave and made sure she knew that they were the only ones with the keys to her bindings. She did as she was told, and went where she was meant to be, and did what she was supposed to do, but she knew, deep inside of her, that she was bigger than they told her she was, and greater than they tried to make her believe her to be.
Occasionally she was loosened from her tight restraints, but never fully released, and brought out into the light of this bright big world. She was held tightly and treated carefully, with an eye always on her to make sure she couldn’t escape. One day, those captors of hers, they turned their head, just slightly to the side and the girl (who was a little bit older, had become a little bit wiser, and knew this wasn’t where she was meant to be) dashed off and ran and ran and ran until she found the very edge of a forest.
This forest was big, and she knew she could hide in it, so she carefully took a step into the trees. She hid behind stumps and logs and rocks and tried to sneak through the woods, hoping she wouldn’t get caught. She was called from the edge of the forest, but she was resolute. She would never go back, she would never leave this forest where she felt safer. It was darker there, and many more places for little girls to not be found. There were so many things to try and so much to learn that she felt like she could stay forever.
She walked this forest and came to know it. She learned the name of every tree, and found the paths to the water and where she could find food, so every day she grew a tiny bit bigger and a little bit stronger, though she was still quite a little girl. In fact, she became so accustomed to her woods that she walked through it with her eyes closed tight and knew every place to put her foot and every branch to duck under. She felt she knew everything there was to learn in this place and yearned for more knowledge, but she was too scared of being caught and returned to those people who held her too tight.
It had been some time in the woods when she walked to the other side and stood with her feet just on the edge of the forest, her toes on the line between darkness and light. She stood there for a long time and looked at what was around her. She tried stretching and looking as far as she could, but she couldn’t see what was beyond the point where her toes touched. Her eyes were tricking her, she thought, she just couldn’t believe that there was nothing to see. Her toes dug into the dirt and she leaned forward, and the tip of her nose came out of the dark. She reached forward with as much of her body as she could without leaving her safe spot and her whole head was in a bright bright light.
She could see! And what wonders there were! There were colors of every shade, and movement as far as she could see. She made out the shapes of people, some with bindings around them, so similar to the ones she escaped, but they looked happy! She took a small step forward, and her body felt like it was filled with music, and her heart felt like it could burst. She felt sure that she couldn’t possibly feel any better than she did right then, halfway between darkness and light.
Some people beckoned to her, fingers curled and mischief in their eyes. She stood very still, and it felt like she had a war going on in her body, between her head and her heart. Her heart wanted to step forward, but her head was saying it wasn’t safe. Her head told her that here in the forest, she knew every path and every tree and she was comfortable. Her heart knew that she could learn and feel so much more if she stepped out of the woods and walked forward.
Finally, without letting her her head and heart fight any longer she jumped high into the sky and when she came down, she was out of the woods. She landed in front of some of those strange new people and they looked at her with encouragement on their faces. She stepped one step closer and looked them in the eyes, and she found love and acceptance shining back at her. One man who looked so much kinder than anyone she had seen before leaned forward and wrapped his arms around her. At first she struggled, feeling trapped again and tried to escape like she had done before, but those arms held her firm, but never tightened, they held her close, but not with pain. Slowly she relaxed into his arms and felt people putting bindings around her, loose but substantial. She let go of the man and looked at herself, a little afraid of what was to come, but the people made soothing noises and all patted her and touched her gently. She looked around, and saw that there was so much here to learn, and so many places to go and so many things to see and she no longer felt scared. She looked down at herself and nodded, liking the way this bondage held her, the way it curved around her body and felt like it belonged.
She knew that this was bondage she had chosen, and a place she where she belonged. She was still a tiny tiny speck in this big big world, but she knew that this world was getting smaller, and she was so much more than she was before.