The Path

Artist Unknown — please let me know if you know

The stone path to the door in the tree is made up of stones too big to be called cobblestones.  They are worn and broken in spots – the path was either once well used or has been abandoned for years.  I can’t tell which.

The doorway calls to me.  Has always called to me.  I’m quite certain happiness and contentment lie behind it.  I think it is the Tree of Life.

I’ve been trying to get there for years.

Sometimes the heels of my shoes are too high and I can’t negotiate the stone path. Other times, the atmosphere on the way to the door is too foreboding.  To inaccessible.  Too dark.  Too far out of my way.  Too something.

I am determined now to go through. I have kicked off my heels and stride barefoot through the forest. Vulnerable and a little bit afraid.

Most likely, the door will be hard to open. I think the hinges might groan.  Might be rusted shut.  I don’t think many people actually make it through that doorway. Not these days.  The times are too — something.  I’m supposed to be a wordsmith.  I should be able to summon the right word. I can’t find it.  Maybe unsettled.  Complicated.  Perilous.  Insane.

If I get through….no…when I get through, I will paint the door red.  In opposition to the Rolling Stones. 

There is too much black already.

I am so weary. 

Once on the other side, I think if I stand in the doorway and look out, the forest will be sun-dappled and green.  The path is welcoming and not perilous.  The tree may bear apples.  Bright red and juicy.  Plenty for me. Plenty for others.

I think once the journey is over, I may forget how arduous it was. 

That might be a blessing.  Reality, which has been far too much with me, tells me that is not likely. 

It wasn’t easier with sturdy shoes.  But approaching the door naked and with reverence seems the right thing to do now.

I have stripped myself of that which might hold me back.  That may keep me from feeling all the feels.  I am vulnerable, but I am strong.

I will stride as much as possible across those worn, broken rocks through the dark, dreary forest.

I am tired of the dark.  Tired of dreary.

I am tired.

It’s now or never.  This crosses my mind a lot.  I don’t have a lot of years left.  I have spent my life, it seems, in a perpetual state of stress.  I can’t remember not being stressed. Not since I was 10.  Fifty-three years of stress can kill you.  Sap your will to live.

I haven’t lost that.  I am not defeated.  I am determined.

A second wind has energized me.  Or maybe a third wind.  Hundredth wind? 

I’ve been at this for a long time.

What’s on the other side of the door?

I try to imagine it.

A cozy room with a narrow quilted bed, reading chair, and books?

Another doorway to a sunlit meadow brimming with flora and fauna. Ripe apples?  Mine for the picking?

Nothing?  Everything. Mindfulness instead of mindless existence.

I am weary of trying to reach that door and failing.

I don’t think I’ve been trying in the right ways.  Tried tackling the path with someone or more than one someone by my side. 

Nope.

Tried it alone but was fortified for battle and obstacle.  Provisions, hiking books, walking stick, pith helmet. Camera to document the journey.

Nope.

Tried it tearful.  Tried it prayerful.  Tried it angry.

Now, no try, just do. 

Yoda is perhaps the greatest philosopher of all time.  Do or do not.  There is no try.

Maybe all of life is just a journey.  But that seems too despairing.  There has to be a point.  A destination.  A place of fulfillment and ease. 

Mustn’t there?

I intend to find out.

That door beckons.  Has always beckoned.  I will push it open.

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