It has been the challenging run that you expected it to be. You have traversed the trail that up until today was dotted lines on a map. Now, halfway through your loop, this land and you are intimate with each other. You have violated her silence, exposed her secrets, caressed her contoured landscape, even left your imprint on her bare skin. She has captivated your being, taken you places unknown, made you feel inadequate, left you wanting. And now, as you approach the summit, you are keenly aware of your own mind, and wondering if it will act as ally or foe on the home stretch. Currently, it has made you aware that you can’t ignore the rumbling thunder in the distance. This coming storm and you are on a collision course.
For the first time a cold wind cuts your face. You remember the moist, still air of the tree canopied valley that you just came through. You long for its lost safety and you ask yourself; should I have braved this challenge alone? Would I have been wise to take it on another day? Should I even be out here in the first place? The mind. The body. Time.... time. The Truth. And the truth is, you could be other places, good places. Giving your time to other things. Good things. To loved ones, who deserve more from you; to your home, that once again needs updated and organized; to your finances, which could always improve; to rest and recovery, long overdue.
The thunder cracks. You are back, and you realize, this is who I am, ascending alone. Although the next breath of air cannot get here fast enough, you won’t be turning back. At the summit you will be turning toward the finish. The finish of something you started. A finish that offers finality in a way that these other things cannot.
You have a heightened sense now, and most people would allow themselves the liberty of being nervous. You would too, if you didn’t fear the mundane, or hate what you would be without the thrill. But will this be the day that you get exposed to the world? The place where you are marred by your inadequacies? You keep climbing in hopes to drown out any answer.
It’s soon approaching. The summit, the top, the vista, the starred achievement of said map. It will be a sight to be seen today, the contrast of a low sun on the horizon threatened by clouds of darkness. A view of where you have been and where you are going. The well-deserved trophy of any visitor that has come this far. But as you arrive, you don’t break stride. You won’t turn your head to this Siren’s song. For she is not yours, not yours to have for a moment of lust. Yours is the trail, and she is calling you on. Up ahead lies the truth, a beckoning unknown, time.... time, the body, the mind.
By Nathan Reyes
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