January 12, 2010

Chapter 3: Companions

The Stag Warrior peered down his path, the view obscured a bit in the distance, the dust swirling still, as it seemed to do all the time, being lifted and sifted through the trees dotting the edges of the thoroughfare. He had been walking his path for some time now, several weeks in fact. The monotony of the walk had set in, nothing but rock after rock, tree after tree, this section of his journey seemingly stretching on forever with no visible change of the terrain. Ennui had taken over his mind, day after day the same thing, and he began to wonder if this was even worth doing.

About that time when all his mind was dreaming up were thoughts of stopping, thoughts of just sitting down somewhere, making shelter, and staying put, he looked up and what he saw snapped him out of his reverie. There was what appeared to be another path, intersecting his own, and yet also a part of it, as though there were two paths, but one destination. Yes, that was it, a path quite close to his own, parallel to his, and here the two became one. This required some investigation.

Before he had moved three steps further the being appeared. At first only a shadow, as the swirling dust had the effect of providing a sort of shield to normal vision, but then shortly, as he drew closer, he could make out the form of someone quite like himself, yet slightly different. This being was from another town, another tribe perhaps, and was not male. As he approached her, he could see that she had been walking a long time as well, her clothes even more dusty than his, if that were possible, or maybe that was just the dull tan and brown color the attire appeared to be. She wore a waist length denim jacket and jeans, along with hiking boots, and a black bandanna on her head that covered some of her long red and very curly hair. She carried a pack much like his own, a rucksack, except hers was smaller.

There was something familiar about this woman, and a memory he had placed in the back of his mind long ago suddenly came back to him, and as he finally reached her, and saw her face, he knew. It was her. No one else had those grayish green eyes. She had been a friend, a companion, years ago, when he was on a different path, and had traveled with him for a time, and then she was gone. Now she had returned, after so much time, so much distance traveled, her path to join his once again. He was elated! His boredom had vanished, now here was someone who knew, someone who cared, and who would be his companion on this path like she had been on his last.

He talked with her at length, catching up on her individual observances and experiences since they had last traveled together, and as it turned out, she was quite knowledgeable about this path, having traveled it for many years more than he, and she prevailed on him to follow the direction she pointed out. He did so, with her right beside him all the way, and as they walked together, the winds stopped howling and became only a whisper of their former ferocity, and the dust began to settle just a bit, making other paths visible, on either side, parallel to the one they were on, as hers had been.

He began to see more intersections up ahead, where some of those paths crossed theirs, other people were there also, and even behind, why had he not seen them before? He now realized they had been there all along. He had not seen them, or rather ignored them, thinking this path was his alone. There were others walking the path as they were, some faster, some slower, some ahead, some behind, but all going somewhere. Small groups he could see, several people together walking, paths crossing and uncrossing, people coming and going. Everyone on a journey. As they walked others joined them, some old and familiar faces, others new. New friendships were made, and his path became that of many others, some for a short time, as their path took them in another direction, but others stayed, and walked with him as she did. Always guiding him, helping him see the obstacles ahead, always there when he lost his footing, or failed to see a danger ahead.

He began to feel a change in his thinking. This path was not just his. Everyone had a journey of their own, but it did not mean it had to be a lonely one, a solitary one. People were everywhere along the path, there were friends to be made, relationships to forge, for his journey was not just a transition from a starting point to some obscure destination far away, it was and is an experience of humanity. It was now a joy to wake up, see the sun rise, and greet the day knowing there were others on the same road as he, tackling the same obstacles, dealing with the same storms. Companions were always available. One just had to look up and see them, greet them, and invite them to walk along for as long as they were able.

No one man, no one person, was ever truly alone.


Ryan Sutton said...

*smiles and big hugs* It's truly a pleasure to keep you company on this adventure we call life. =)

Bella Foxglove said...

*Wipes eyes*

That was the most awesome thing you have written and it inspires such emotion in me this day.

It has been a joy and a honor to walk along with you, through this life and many others, and I am glad our paths crossed yet again...

Emme Toaye said...

Very inspiring words with a wisdom and wit worth visiting again and again. Soooooo....you like redheads. Let me just grab a box of "Shimmer Red" hair color and where are those colored contact lenses..., thanks for a great chapter.

Micaela said...

That was lovely, you have a way with the word, written, spoken, and unspoken. The female on this journey is very fortunate. As would be anyone to know you. Brightest Blessing. )O(