Journey

There was once a man who was walking with a heavy heart. He didn’t know where his final destination lay, all he knew was he just had to keep walking. The way was long and treacherous, yet the man kept walking until he came to a forest.

 

The trees were tall and plentiful. The canopy was dense, the top of each tree entwined with its neighbour, trapping the sunlight, not allowing it to penetrate through to the floor. The bushes and other flora on the forest floor were brown, dry, dead. The lack of sunlight had prevented photosynthesis, and the thick roots of the trees starved them of water. The dead tendrils had knitted together with dead branches, creating a web of thorns which bit at his legs. The man knew that he had to keep on walking. He winced as each thorn pierced his skin, his back jarred as he tripped on the tangled carpet of twigs and vines, but he continued on his path.

 

The man finally came to the edge of the forest and entered a swamp. The stagnant water was waist height and green with algae. The canopy was sparse in the swamp, and a flood of brilliant sunshine beat down upon the man. It was warm, but that horrible sticky warm you only get in highly humid air. The man kept on walking, his feet sinking into the mud at the bottom of the swamp, his movements creating a vacuum pressure which increased the amount of effort it took for him to move. The man shared the swamp with alligators and snakes, each one he saw was seemingly bigger than the last. When he was nearing the bank of the swamp, a particularly large alligator started swimming towards him, opening its cavernous jaws. The man sped up, fighting with the mud for his ability to run. He shouldn’t have made it to the bank, the alligator outmatched him in both speed and strength, yet the man’s steadfast determination to reach his unknown destination helped him outrun the alligator against all odds.

 

The bank of the swamp led to a lush, green plain which was covered in the most beautiful wild-flowers. It was like a carpet of greens and purples and gold, both visually and by the way it felt underfoot. The sun was still shining, and there was little cloud cover so as the man walked across the plain, his saturated clothes began to dry. The plain, by its very nature, was flat and easy to navigate. The warmth from the sun was pleasant, there were no obstacles in the man’s way; the journey was finally straightforward. Yet the man’s heart was still heavy. He recognised that he was walking a path that many would love to travel upon, however he had no one to share the beauty of this place with, you can’t revel in anything with a heavy heart, and so the man kept on walking, knowing he hadn’t yet reached his destination.

 

He reached the end of the plain and was faced with a mountain. It was so high, the summit was hidden behind a thick blanket of cloud. The man started to climb; hand, over foot, over hand, over foot. His legs ached and his arms were tired, still he kept on climbing. There were very few footholds, and the man was negotiating a route which skirted a precipitous drop. The man had climbed so high he entered the cloud. The air was cold, damp and thick. The water droplets soaked through his clothes and chilled him to his core, he was physically and mentally exhausted but continued on his journey. As he neared the peak, the man reached for a large boulder as a means of hauling himself to the top of the mountain. The man grabbed onto the boulder, shifted his weight in order to find higher footholds, and the boulder fell. The man was certain he was going to fall to his death, when a hand appeared through the dense cloud cover and grabbed onto him. The hand was small and didn’t look particularly strong, yet it pulled and pulled at the man with all its might. Inch by inch the man was pulled up the precipice until, finally, he was pulled to the safety of the summit.

 

When the man realised he was safe, he looked up to see his saviour, the mysterious owner of the hand. He smiled when he saw her face, and knew he had reached his destination.