by Elizabeth de Barros

Wisdom came for me early.

I was young when Folly left her mark, when marauders tore through without regret. Living in the middle of an emotional war zone didn’t allow for much say at the time.

But Wisdom gasped on my behalf. Like a great-aunt clothed in the dread of God, she cleared her throat, drove back the dark with a single command and summoned the prince of the power of the air to a disciplinary hearing where she stated her case:

“This one I have preserved. She’s mine.”


Aware of the varied and disproportionate mess that lay at my feet, Wisdom met me in my despondency with delicate assurance. To the level of my undoing she bowed lower still, and lifted my burden while making for my head a place of rest. Her love was equal to her efficiency.

What came first, the sense of undulating comfort or the slow fade of all the imprinted fears lining the walls of my mind, I can’t recall. All I knew was that a strange new business had begun. Time had been erased; the floor of the whole earth swept clean. Someone else was in control. No longer captive to my fears, I was learning the meaning of things I had not known and embracing realities I previously could not fathom. How does one interpret Heaven at age twelve? Or at any age?

I didn’t call for her, but Wisdom came anyway. She knew my name before I could say, then took my hand and escorted me to the bloody man hanging on a cross. These wasting arms and burning tears found company in her care. I didn’t have to work so hard anymore. She pointed the way and introduced me to my Father.

So many years ago, while it was yet dark, Wisdom whispered in my ear. The first to announce: “Day has come.”

Her ways haunt me still.