The house by the brook

By Chad Carroway To the house by the brook he ran, from battles and wars of the past, it was a place of solace and security, under the tall pointy roof — even if only temporary.

As far back as memory could take him, it filled his pre-teen mind with confusing images of darkness and light. There he saw baseball games and endured memories of police cars in a driveway. He remembered times playing football with pals in the front yard. Likewise, he could not shake loose the shreeking threats and screams as they barreled down the hallway in the middle of the night. Wondering if they were demons howling past his doorway looking souls to overpower.

While standing by the water of the stream, he thought of family life underneath the tall pointy roof. In this home, the days began early for him, with a light tap on the door accompanied by the sound of a delicate voice to greet the new day. No alarm clock or clanging bell. He would roll out from underneath soft covers into a well-earned stretch found only after sound sleep. It was amazing how well one could sleep with the absence of noise, quarrels, late-night phone calls for rescue. After showering, there was breakfast, always something warm to eat and in great supply. The smell of coffee rose to the second floor, never would he dare drink any, but the parents sure did! You could say living under the large pointy roof was wonderful.

That was the first time in his life that he did not witness family life as a spectator. Now the view wasn't from the other side of the velvet rope...no longer was it like walking through a museum peering through glass, unable to touch.

Before too long, news of another war had reached the house with the tall pointy roof. His deployment soon dispatched him. While always frightful of each skirmish, overall there was no fear of taking on the enemy. It was war after all, he thought to himself, just like John Rambo. Life was ugly, nasty...but standing up to evil was his job. Sometimes he wondered why a kid his age should have to deal with such matters, but he did what he had to do.

The years seem to pass quickly after being deployed, the fighting grew strong, except this time the little boy was accelerating into a man. Along with physical strength and abilities, skills and wit about the enemy sharpened. It seemed that since the times of solace spent at the house by the brook, while living under the large pointy roof, things were different. A pair of adult feet were firmly planted where a little boy once stood, these feet no ran from war.

Time has passed and that man completed his service. He and his own family live under their collective roof. It is a home with a fireplace, full of family dinners, moments or laughter, tears and so many more things that he yearned for as he fought in the trenches as a young boy.

Moments do come however, when he has to deal with wars-past, often reminding him of the enemies he once battled. The wars surface in his dreams and thoughts and he struggles...yet perseveres. The key is finding solutions to deal with these demons in a better way. He accomplishes this as he seeks the help of friends and family…some days are better than others.

Thankfully, most of his wartime enemies, have been outlived and they have been laid to rest—along with his forgiveness—they have been put asunder. Much damage has been inflicted...scars remain even though the wounds have healed.

It has been said that from negative examples sometimes come positive lessons and hopefully healthy outcomes. Even though the horrible images and sounds still linger, running through the mind of the little boy inside, it is the man who is now father and husband and he carries on. The images are replaced by the warm times shared under the large pointy roof.

Instead of the demons screeching and howling past his doorway looking for a home to haunt, they are washed away by the trickling brook of solace. It is that memory that brings him the needed peace during these important times in his troubled life.

It is through these people and places of refuge that God gives us hope and possibility for a new day.


Note to Reader: #Bullying can affect some indirectly (families) just as much as it can one-to-one. The main character in this story was affected by men were abusing who were abusing his mother. The war (he envisioned) was to protect her and his sibling, which in itself, is a hellish war of its own kind.

This can have a cyclical effect into multiple generations — the child often adapting behaviors. This is not a professional opinion, just a personal statement about the effects of an unhealthily environment. Both of these, with which I have personally had to grapple.

As a child and/or a parent it is absolutely important to avoid repeating it. If you need help (child or adult) reach out for your own sake, your loved ones and generations to come.

See links below for help:

Domestic Abuse Link Bullying Link