How exactly am I supposed to feel as the wind bites at my face and the rain blinds me? My limbs are numb and the pain in my legs reminds me of every next step ahead. Should I endure it or maybe find shelter down in a deep dark cave where oblivion is my only companion? Blood trickles from the wounds on my body and I feel my life slowly ebbing away. My vision becomes blurred and my head spins with an unrelenting confusion. Will I survive this time or will this burden become too heavy for me to press on? I am so weary. The seconds feel like days and there is no time to rest. I hear the echoes of familiar voices in the darkness. Hurtful words stab at my mind continuously as I seek a means to silence them. Light peers through the clouds only for an instant, giving me hope that there might be an end to this madness. Perhaps the end is not what awaits me, but a new beginning. Should I strike out on my own trying to find myself or stay here and protect what I’ve already built with my own two hands? Wait. What do I see in the distance? I can barely make out the figure as it is shrouded in darkness, and my eyes close with every step as I wince with pain. They look familiar but are still too far away. I can hardly stand but I will surely slit their throat if they get in my way. Too many times before has someone tried to rob me of my sanity and this time they will not defeat me. As the figure gets closer I can see that they are also carrying a burden just like mine. They are almost upon me and yet they are still just a blur. This familiar shape keeps a steady pace and it looks as if they might just trample me to the ground. Finally we meet face to face and I become truly disoriented. Their face looks like everyone I have ever met, their hair is every color imaginable, and their clothing consists of every type of garment ever made. They begin to reach out for me. My first instinct is to protect myself by curling up into a ball on the muddy ground. I feel powerful arms lift me up again and this being takes me in a strong embrace. Their skin is warm and their clothing is strangely dry. I breathe a sigh of relief as the embrace becomes even tighter. A familiar tranquility washes over me and I start to wonder at who this person could be. Suddenly, their form becomes less tangible and my arms start to pass through their shoulders. A brilliant effervescent light begins to emanate from this being as they become pure thought and spirit. Now only energy, our spirits begin to merge together. I feel their strength become my own. My wounds start to mend and the blood is washed away by the gently falling rain. My burden has become lighter and I feel like I can soar through the air. As I look up, the sun begins to emerge fully from behind the clouds and the rain ceases to fall. My journey can now continue, thanks to that kindred traveler. Their spirit will always be with me, as long as I meet them with open arms – and remember.
April 29th, 2007