Wrote this a decade ago, but still come back to it… my homage to those suffering from anxiety and agoraphobia.
The thunder of the storm roars and shudders its way into her room. When it stops, the woman hears the quiet patter of rain against her window but doesn’t look to see the gray shade of the afternoon, knowing she sees it clearly enough in her mind. Unlike the muddy silence she usually fills around her, a slight sound escapes her lips and she lets herself follow it into a hum; the hum then becoming a song.
In the dullness outside, a lone squirrel stops its forage under the cover of trees to listen. It hears without understanding, but hears with an attention that humans once knew. With the rain slowing into a whisper and the song of the woman falling back into silence, the damp squirrel surveys the network of trees ahead and begins to move on.
The day draws into dusk with the twilight somehow seeming brighter than the previous overcast of the early afternoon. It becomes enough light, mixing with the awakening of city lights as people collide.
There is a lag in the stream of bodies where a squirrel sits defiantly on the sidewalk. People slow here for just a moment, staring at this animal whose trek began earlier this day perched on a tree miles away to listen intently to a song that now fills these pedestrians with the ripple of joyous hope. It was a song of newfound strength and spirit so powerful that it echoed into this small creature. These people move on, smiling as they take in the ghost of the woman’s song.
A woman who only sang for the joy of making it through another day.