People, like the cliché, and Shrek attest, are like onions. We have layers. We grow and change from the inside out much like one. To peel back each piece takes perseverance, like getting to know a person who eventually becomes your best friend. A deceptively delicate core, similar to our hearts, holds it all together.
When I stand in my kitchen, and turn the knife with thumb and wrist into the fresh shiny stuff inside, I realize that, like the onion, life unfolds in a similar fashion. The petals of my own peel away collecting in a heap on my cutting board. I can see them better this way. They expose a new perspective on the past, pungent yet sweet on my tongue. Some days, these moments of reflection sting my eyes in sharp relief to that urgency of youth, missteps along the way. Other days, I embrace the value of these milestones upon which I have already tread.
Today, I look through my rear view mirror. I see beyond my children’s faces stark with innocence from where they sit wiggling in the back seat. I witness the pavement curving behind us as it disappears into the horizon’s infinite mouth. I press the gas to merge onto the highway, my fingers gripping the steering wheel. I feel the surge against my chest. As I speed ahead a football field’s length every three seconds, I think of, yes, another cliché. Is hindsight really 20/20? Does the passage of time offer superior vision for the present? Or is this phenomenon more akin to teasing out our own layers of meaning? I assert that each piece is inextricably linked to the whole. Together they reveal the mystery of life under the steady hand of change for all those choosing to appreciate it.
Carrena Sherrill is an emerging fiction writer from North Carolina. She wrote her first story in her mother’s red lipstick on the back of the family sofa at age six. She has been writing ever since.
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