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Finding Lost Fortitude

And when in the darkness of insecurity's shadow I am certain I will never be seen,

and when my voice feels but a whisper in a room humming with accolades for all who shine brighter,

and my heart seems to have suddenly lost the brightness of its guiding star,

it is then I cry out for you -

for the fortitude that seems to have left me -

for the tenacity and resilience that resides in the many generations of strong, independent women that are my bloodline -

women who before me did traverse these same winding, treacherous roads called Fear, Loss, Identity, Fate, and Destiny,

and who by the sheer grit of their unwillingness to do anything less than whatever was necessary to persevere and thrive, gifted me with the same enduring powers.

I will find it again, my lost fortitude, in the detailed and passionate notes my mother left behind for the book she decided, even so late in life, that she wanted to write,

and I will find it in the ever so beautifully hand-crafted journal of my maternal grandmother, who carefully cut and pasted multitudes of her favorite poems and verses for regular revisiting and spirit lifting,

and I will find it in my paternal grandmother's inked lamenting and heartache in her travel log and diary, kept ever so neatly wrapped and locked away in a trunk filled with her other decades old treasures and mementos,

and I will find it in my ancestor's black and white photographs, many marked with names I do not know, but whose eyes I instantly recognize for their fire, and whose will and determination always speak to me as surely as if their words were reaching me here through time.

These women, my female descendants, though no longer of this earth,

still surround me with their powerful presence,

and now, in my moment of fear and uncertainty,

lovingly reach out to me with arms as comforting as a thousand reassuring hugs,

with kisses as soft as a roost of butterflies' gently fluttering their wings about my face as they brush away my tears,

with cheering whispers far louder than the disparaging voices in my head,

with the gentle nudges and persistent prodding of my favorite teachers,

and with the strength and tenderness to carry me, as though I'm floating like a light breeze over still waters,

back to my confidence that waits patiently on the other side of this storm.

©Chris Colyer

Jan.15, 2020

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