I took a chance on the cold last night, traded in a warm blanket for a chit chat under an open banda.
I gave up the comfort of the familiar characters of my dreams and sat in a circle with a stranger’s eyes boring into me.
I knew what was coming, and I was scared. Soon, these very eyes will not be fooled by the smile they are so used to. Soon, they will know me – the real me.
I didn’t think I was ready, but then again, who is ever ready for a heart-to-heart with a stranger? Unless, of course, the stranger is a shrink. So I inhaled the cold air, felt it cut into my nose and fill up my lungs. It tasted of wet earth, edible.
The night was still, and for a few seconds I sat motionless, one with nature, the silent trees, the hallowed moon in the dark cloudy sky. The man next to me broke the silence with a suppressed sigh as he started us off.
Everyone was going to share about themselves, the major things in their lives that made them who they are today. It was candid, then it got personal, like I-was-raised-in-the-streets personal. There were shaky voices, bent heads, tear-filled eyes… Evidently, it was not easy for anyone (phewks, I was not the only scared chicken haha).
But after a few people had spoken, it got comfortable, and deeper. We moved from tales of absent parents to struggles on losing our faith to medical miracles, stolen childhoods, confessions of bitterness and stories on healing. The different stories were beautiful, some sad, others happy, but all beautiful in their own ways.
We took a chance on a camp in the woods. What we didn’t know was we took a chance on people, we took a chance on each other, we took a chance on (sharing) life and in return, we made friends.