Freedom Lost

She sat under the oak tree, looking out over the lake. The cool grass felt good between her bare toes, her sandals sitting next to her naked feet. With her arms crossed across her knees she rested her forehead a moment and inhaled the fresh air. The smell of lavender filled her senses. Her stress released as she took a few moments to think. To her left she heard a small rustle and a tiny twig snap.

She lifted her head to see the neighborhood grey tabby stalking a lizard or something in the grass. She watched him while he hunted. It looked more like play as he bounded across the grass. His prey alluded him, so he stopped for a quick scratch, then jumped back up, on the prowl again. He headed toward the tall grasses near the lake and disappeared into a hollow formed just the right size for his body.

Her attention moved back to the sky as she watched white clouds roll in from the south, dotting the sky and then slowly filling in, providing relief from the hot sun. Her mind drifted to quieter times in her life, more balanced times. These times came less frequently these days. Gone are the free weekends, now taken up by work, week after week. Unable to be spontaneous and head on out whenever. Now everything has to be planned and scheduled, so she could claim it ahead of time.

She wasn’t ever really spontaneous before, but she missed the freedom to be so these days. A salaried job, great pay, but what happened to the rest of life? She realized she was drowning in a sea of work and the moments she could escape were squeezed into mere minutes or maybe an hour late at night or early mornings of daydreams and writing. ‘Is this what happens to us as grown ups? When did the fun fade away?’

Her cell phone buzzed. Work needed her back again. She looked at her phone. She wanted to just chuck it into the lake and run away, but instead, she put on a smile and answered the phone. “Good afternoon, this is me. How may I help?”

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