The Path [story]

day 7 the path

What happens when you tick all the boxes? Where do you go once you’ve reached the end of the map? When you’ve been planning out this journey for years and years you never stopped to think about what you would do once you got there. It’s like you’re looking for a path to take but it’s difficult to see in the underbrush. The sun is shrinking through the treetops and you find yourself spinning in circles trying to find your direction. It’s exhausting, so you decide to rest. Instead of fumbling around in the dark, you set up camp for the night and fall asleep to the sound of the wind through the trees and insects buzzing on leaves.

Each morning you rise with the sun, feeling less invigorated as the days go by. Soon you will forget about the path, focusing instead on your surroundings. Some days are warm and you feel whole inside, while others bring a pang of guilt and a yearning to move on. Those days send you spinning in circles again, almost certain you had seen the path and desperate to find it once more. But the sun sets too quickly and so you return to your bed, whispers of tomorrow drifting away on the wind.

Then one day you do it. You hug the trees and thank them for sheltering you all this time, and you say ‘goodbye’ to the wind for singing you to sleep every night. You grab your things, and you begin to walk. With no compass, no direction, you push forward. There is no path for you to follow, just the sound of your footsteps carrying you further and further into the forest. At times the brush is thick and full of thorns, and sometimes fragrant flowers brush gently along your thighs. Thick, gnarled tree roots spring up occasionally, causing you to stumble and fall, but you don’t let them slow you down. You carry on, sprinting forward just to feel the wind through your hair.

It feels almost as if you’ve been walking for both an eternity and no time at all. Suddenly, you stop and turn around to see the path you have left behind you. Smiling, you realize that you never needed to find the path because you were the one creating it all along. So you continue walking, unsure where your feet will lead you or when you will stop, but knowing that you will get there eventually.