I walk alone along this path knowing that nobody can take the steps for me. Right now it looks smooth and easy, but I never know what is coming around the next bend. I could have taken a straighter path through an open field, but I think I may have become bored. So I continue walking one step at a time, being certain to look at the scenery around me, and finding beauty in the darkness of the deep forest and occasional rough terrain.
Sometimes the path intersects with that of another. We walk together for a period of time and the journey suddenly becomes easier. It is always nice to have company along the journey. Sometimes, their path turns off or ends and I find myself once again walking alone.
But I feel that even though I can not see your path, I am not actually walking alone. I feel that you are walking with me. Your path runs parallel to mine. I sense you walking beside me, and occasionally, I call out to you. Sometimes, I even feel as though I can hear you answer. Once in a while, it seems I even catch a glimpse of you through the trees. I wonder on occasion if our paths will ever cross. I could make a new path to yours. I could walk along your path for a while with you, but then I may miss out on that which awaits me on my own.
I continue walking. I learn about the forest along the way. I learn about the types of trees, along with what is dangerous, and what isn’t. I learn what I can use from the path to help me along my journey and what I need to avoid. I learn what is important to pay attention to, and what I can ignore. Soon I find myself walking faster.
I reach a small clearing. I look over, and I see you. Your path is closer to mine now. There is a pond between us, and each of us is approaching more trees. I call to you to let you know I am aware that you have been walking beside me. You answer back and tell me you have been forever. I tell you that you look familiar. You remind me of the short time our paths intersected and we walked together. You tell me that even that brief walk together isn’t the only time we have ever walked together. I tell you I feel like you are supposed to walk with me. I see you smile and point forward on your path as you disappear into the trees. I continue walking on my path, and enter a particularly dark area of woods.
Suddenly, I can’t feel you walking beside me any longer. I feel nothing but the darkness of the trees around me. The sun hardly gets through the dark canopy, and I feel a sense of fear. I can hardly see, it is so dark. I hear sinister noises around me in the thick of the forest. I feel my heart race. I pause of a moment, paralyzed with fear. After a couple of minutes, I realize that if I do not keep moving, I will be stuck in this darkness forever. I walk forward again, with new determination. I do my best to block out the noises and eventually, my eyes adjust to the darkness. I can see once again, and appreciate the look of the dark forest, but still hope for the light to return.
My path is winding so much that I can hardly feel the overall direction it is taking me, but I get the sense it is drifting closer to yours. The trees thin somewhat, and the sinister noises fade. The sun beings to peek through the tops of the trees once again, and illuminates the new growth around me. I feel the breeze coming through now, and notice the sunlight causing the fluttering leaves to sparkle.
I hear singing. It is you. Your sweet voice floats over the shrinking space between us. Your voice sings a song of optimistic happiness and carries me along the path. I feel like you are very close to me now. I smile as I walk along, listening to your voice. I call out to you and tell you how much I want to be walking with you on the same path.
I hear laughter. I try not to feel disappointed, but I was serious. I want to walk with you. You go back to singing. I love the sound of your voice, but I am upset. I want to walk with you, and you just laugh. Then you begin singing again.
I continue walking, trying not to be too upset. I am not listening to the words you sing as I am too hurt from your laughter when I called out to you.
But soon your sweet voice begins to fill my ears and my mind, and I start to listen as I approach another group of trees and a sharp bend ahead. And then I hear you sing,
“Your love awaits me around the bend. Our paths to each other are reaching the end.”