by Taylor Rogers ’24
Wind playfully sways my fragile body, jokingly pushing me towards an unseeable path.
I refuse to acknowledge this pull, but I find myself unable to turn around.
Here is the place I feel the most serene, the most calm, since I know my demons can crawl into my bed at night.
But, they cannot climb up mountains.
Here, mother nature embraces me, her servants diligently marking my fated trail.
She provides me food, the small berries my sole fuel for conquering this peak.
The birds sing around me, their soothing voices reminding me that if I fall, they will alert mother.
I am a child, exploring her uncharted territory, and she wishes for me to do this safely.
Below my feet, the rocks shift, deciding to make my path slightly easier to trek, and I thank them as the terrain changes faster than I can blink.
Rushing water lazily falls to the left of me, the calming noise reassuring me that waking up at an ungodly hour was worth it.
No map guides me, as mother assures me that this is the right path, small leaves acting as her eccentric form of bread crumbs.
A nervous sun sneaks a brief peek at me before disappearing, afraid to ruin the surprise waiting for me at the summit.
Smiling, I decide to increase my pace, not wanting to keep mother waiting.
The animals around me cheer, as the trees step aside, letting me conquer this next challenge.
My tired body begins to ache, but I ignore this pain, as I know mother won’t appreciate me stopping during my hike.
“They’re here! Finally!”
A voice excitedly yells, motivating me to climb the last hill of this uncharted territory.
My two feet find a plateau and I look up, seeing the sun hand-in-hand with the hyperactive clouds.
“Welcome home, my sweet child.”
Mother calls out to me, reaching a calloused hand out to me.
With a smile on my face, I take her hand and leap from the mountain, joining my family in their state of bliss.