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A trail


It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.

— Ursula K. Le Guin

Embarking on the journey of life, I often picture it as a stroll through a dense forest. The origins are hazy, but my recollections paint a vivid image — I find myself traversing a trail, enveloped in the morning mist as thick as the surrounding woods. It’s a sensation of rebirth, a refreshing start to an expedition into the unknown. For hours, I bask in the ambiance, grounding myself in the earth beneath, entranced by the symphony of the wind dancing through the trees.

Yet, as time elapses, solitude creeps in. Surrounded by flourishing flora and fauna, a pervasive emptiness sets in. There’s no one to share this journey with. Going back is futile; the starting point is lost in the labyrinth of the forest. So, I press on. Days blur into nights, and though nature provides sustenance, a yearning for companionship grows.

Then, a turning point — another trail intersects mine. A glimmer of hope ignites. I pitch camp, patiently awaiting the arrival of a fellow traveler. Finally, a girl emerges, startled yet relieved to discover she’s not alone. Around a crackling fire, our stories intertwine. Nights under the stars become an exchange of tales, myths, and dreams. The profound joy of human connection takes root.

Friendship blossoms, and eventually, love emerges like a delicate flower. The world transforms with the presence of a companion. Yet, as in any journey, challenges arise. Disagreements fester, bitterness seeps in, and the decision to part ways becomes inevitable. Separate trails beckon, and the once-shared path diverges into the unknown.

The cycle repeats — a skeptical embrace of newfound companionship, the warmth of love rekindled, and the inevitable parting. Each encounter leaves its mark, memories etched into the fabric of the journey. There’s no moral, no definitive ending — just a continuous trek along diverse horizons.

Why share these tales? There’s no didactic purpose. Life, like the forest trail, unfolds without a clear destination. Paths cross, stories are exchanged, and moments of reflection punctuate the expedition. Rainbows and dark nights, self-loathing and moments of elation — the journey encompasses it all.

Days oscillate between joy and hardship, between stomping on fallen petals and witnessing buds bloom into flowers. And yet, there’s gratitude for the adventure, an acknowledgment that every step is a surprise. Life’s trail is unpredictable, and I revel in not knowing what lies ahead.

Looking back, the narrative unfolds as a beautiful story — a collection of adventures worth having. Yet, it’s an ongoing saga. I still walk alongside someone, savoring the rain, navigating the fog with uncertainty about the next chapter.

While I’ve come a long way, there’s an expansive road ahead. I reflect on life, appreciating the memories and bracing for those yet to be created. The essence lies in the journey, not the destination — a sentiment that permeates every step. The trail stretches into the unknown, beckoning with promise and mystery. There’s a long way to go, with experiences to embrace and individuals to encounter. Life pauses for reflection, but the journey continues — an endless exploration with stories waiting to unfold.