We walk. As time passes with the sun’s rise and fall we pace, our stride purposeful. Small talk gives way to laughter and lamentations of broken pasts clear the way for promises of a future destination.
At night we rest, our bodies and minds grateful for the chance to recuperate, thanking us with a rising wellspring of strength with which to face each new day.
Until I wake alone.
I call out. Silence echoes around me.
My body melts into the ground and my spirit drains into the earth. As my cheek touches sharp gravel a sudden wind whistles and a fluttering reaches my ear. I see the paper, a note waving from underneath a nearby rock.
“This is where we part. You’re a good man but I seek a different horizon. My journey is one I must take alone. Farewell brother.”
Loneliness wraps itself around my torso, squeezing, squeezing, my breath escaping in a shallow wheeze. The cold re-enters my body, stiffening limbs, softening will.
“You’re not alone.”
The voice, quiet, subdued.
“Hear me – you are not alone.”
The voice lifts me to my feet and I am beckoned once again to the path.
I walk. Step by faltering step, I walk.
The path steepens, my solitude deepens; silence envelopes me, punctured intermittently by a whisper, “I’m here.” The path is straight but I have no direction. Left foot, right foot. Left foot. Right foot.
When tired I am taken by the hand, guided in my step, beckoned to continue.
And then, the mist rises.
Suddenly before me the path stretches, reaching towards a new horizon, towards hope. Towards the beginning. Steps become strides and colour floods the landscape, rolling fields frame the path and birds sing, only for me.
I stop for a moment to allow my starved senses to satiate their appetites; stillness speaks. I am nowhere, and it’s now. Everything begins here. I close my eyes and allow the possibilities to engulf me, my mind carried away by a sea of opportunity. And as I open my eyes I see…. Him.
He is striding towards me – his focus resolute and distant, beyond and through me, reaching back into the mists.
“You’re going the wrong way.”
The words form in my mouth but my lips remain closed, the words swallowed, lost in the bowels of words unsaid.
He breaks into a run and is gone, swallowed by the receding mist.
“What’s he doing? That fucker left me alone so that he could reach the horizon, why the fuck is he going back there? What’s the matter with him?”
“You don’t need to know, it doesn’t matter.”
“He’ll get hurt; why’s he heading back along the same path?”
“Each of us must walk our own path; we may share it with another and for a time we may head in the same direction, but we all face different challenges along the path. Until we face those challenges, until we learn the lessons that the path intends for us to learn, the horizon we seek will remain forever out of our reach. We may run, we may avoid our challenges, but the truths that our path intends for us to find will whisper inside of us; the path will call to us, it will find a way to draw us back to face our challenges until we confront and conquer them.”
“And me? Will I reach my horizon?”
“My friend; you have heard my voice. Your horizon lays before you, have no fear. You have everything you need. Just listen. And walk.”
Wake Up – Arcade Fire