Monday, March 20, 2006
There was a lull in the battle. The enemy had fallen back and was regrouping. I knew that when the next attack came it would be even worse than this one so I tried to take advantage of the time to rest. I bent down to clean my bloodied sword on the grass. I looked down at my armor that was covered with the gore of my enemies, my comrades and my own wounds. I lifted my eyes and saw my General sitting nearby just off the field of battle. I walked to him. As I drew nearer to him I saw his kind eyes turn toward me and his face looked so sorrowful as he beheld my weary, filthy figure staggering toward him. He held his arms out to me and suddenly I felt like a child instead of a fierce warrior. I climbed up into his lap. He folded his arms around me, embracing me in a warmth and love that I had almost forgotten existed. The fears of the battle, the horrors I had seen and the wounds of the day all bore heavily on my mind and I wept. I don’t know how long I sat there curled up in his arms like a child sobbing for all the hurt that I knew. I tried to speak, but my voice came out in spasms through my tears, “Why? Why do I have to fight? Why do I have to hurt? Why?” He said nothing. I raised my head and looked out at the battlefield. I saw many bodies lying dead- some were of my enemies that I had slain, but some were my friends, those I had fought along side with. I turned to hide my face from the wretched scene and I looked up at the General’s face. To my surprise I saw that his face was wet with tears silently streaming down his face. As I watched him weep I saw on his brow the familiar scars and felt on his hands the old wounds from war. He turned his eyes to meet mine. “It is not wrong to weep, child, for the pain felt here on this field of death. I, too, have felt the pangs of death. Child, go and fight now, for you fight for me and this battle will not always rage.” He paused and I saw in his eyes a fire that burned hot with fury. I hid my face. “The enemy will not win this war!” I felt the earth tremble as he spoke these words. His voice softened and he lifted my face to his. “For I have already gained the victory.” I didn’t understand these words, but I knew they were true. “Go now, child, the enemy is approaching once again. It is time to fight.” I turned to leave him, but he caught my arm and gently turned me toward himself. He reached his scarred hand to my face which was still wet with tears and, brushing his hand across my cheek, he gathered my tears into his hand. He folded his hand around the tears and once again looked me in the eye. “I will not forget these tears.” He opened his hand and every one of my tears had turned into the purest diamonds. I gripped my sword, turned and walked back to face the battle.