My metaphorical Life Journey ~~  1995


I awoke and looked around, it was dark. I couldn't even see my hands in front of my face. I could stand and reach over my head but I couldn't touch anything; neither above nor on the sides of me. I walked a few yards and came up against a cold stone wall, then I turned and walked in the opposite direction to another stone wall. Cold and frustrated, I turned and walked in a third direction which seemed to be going downhill. I was in some sort of a dark and very damp tunnel but I traveled on. 

I spent many years walking in this darkness; banging into large boulders because I just could not seem to avoid them, tripping and falling over the many rocks that always seemed to be in front of me. I wished someone could tell me what was happening. It was so dark. My arms and legs were bruised, scratched and quite painful. 

One day, after a particularly hard fall, I just couldn't get up so I began crawling on the cold damp ground. At least now I couldn't fall, I thought. I was crawling downhill which made the going easier, but it was slow and I had no idea where I was going. One day I came to a huge boulder. It seemed to totally block my way, but I managed to climb over it with great struggle and determination. 

I then continued on all fours for a very long time. I was cold and extremely tired. Just when I was feeling like I could not continue any longer, I reached a huge stone wall with no way over or around it. At this point I sat down with my back against it. I was ready to give up completely when I thought I heard a voice calling softly “over here, come over here, come this way.” I headed towards the voice and it wasn’t long before I noticed I was crawling uphill instead of down. My spirits began to lift, but I was still cold and very lonely. My knees and hands were aching from crawling for so long. 

Once when I stopped to rest, my left hand touched something that wasn't earth or rock. It was a somewhat solid and cylindrical object. Surprised, I clutched it to me and stood up. I continued walking, shuffling and stumbling over and around the rocks until I took another particularly hard tumble. I hit the ground so hard that light burst forth from the object I'd been holding. I was surprised and pleased. I picked it up again and pointed the light in front of me. 

I could now see the rocks I'd been stumbling over for years and walked around them instead of tripping and falling over them, which caused terrible pain and bruising. I was able to proceed much faster now and with a lot less pain, although I still had no idea where I was going. 

Later, as I was resting and rubbing dirt off of my newly found light, I noticed a bump on the side of it. Out of curiosity I push it to the side and am plunged into darkness. As I felt my spirits sink with thoughts of living in darkness again, I push the bump again to the other side. To my delight the light came back. Lo and behold I realize that now I had the power to live in either lightness or darkness. 

I chose to live with light and walked on until I came to another very large rock. I shone my light all over it and discovered a large opening just above my head. I then used my light to look for something to stand on and found a wooden block that allowed me to climb up and into the opening. I was on the other side in no time. I treasured my light and wished I had found it years ago. 

In the months and years that followed I came upon others traveling in this tunnel with me. Some had lights while others didn't. Some were traveling in the opposite direction while others were traveling in my direction. No one seemed to notice or talk with anyone else. We just plodded along separately in a quiet desperation. 

One day, while feeling particularly hopeless, I caught a glimpse of what seemed like a very faint light; maybe the end of this tunnel, I thought. It was a steady bright white light, but I wasn't quite sure what it was. With every passing week the light seemed to grow larger and I began to believe that someday I would be close enough to see what it was. I was hopeful yet extremely terrified of that light. In my fear I began to walk slower. 

When I looked around I noticed others near me talking, sharing their lights and helping each other over and around the rocks, even those who were headed downhill. On a few occasions I joined in to ask what their journey was like compared to mine. Some had been in this tunnel longer than I and some not as long. Those of us traveling uphill were looking forward to the day when we would reach the light. We held a belief that life would somehow be better when we reached it; maybe the end of our misery. I now felt guided, for the first time in my long life. 

After what seemed like several more months, I found myself climbing a long and quite steep incline leading up towards the light. Even though I wanted to reach the end, it was very hard traveling so steep a hill and I was still afraid of what might lie beyond this cold, yet very familiar tunnel, that I had been in for seemingly most of my life. I rested frequently. 

Eventually I reached the end and walk out into bright sunlight. With much trepidation I sat down by a large rock at the edge of the opening. I looked around, slowly drinking in the beauty of the sky and foliage around me. It felt quite foreign. I am not used to such warmth and pleasant feelings. I laid down on a patch of soft grass, letting the warm sunshine seep into my body. 

Although it felt strange at first, it now feels like I have reached heaven itself. This beautiful powerful feeling is indeed worth all the toil and struggle I’ve gone through, however I keep wishing I could have gotten here sooner and without so much pain and suffering. Maybe there is some reason why I had to go through what I did; maybe a price to pay; if so it is sure worth the pain.

I stay at the edge for several days not knowing where to go from here, but I knew I didn't ever want to go back into that tunnel. I felt lost, terrified and alone. I saw people coming to greet other tunnel travelers as they emerged into the sunlight and walked away with them arm in arm. They seemed to take this beauty for granted. Some others came out, two and sometimes three together, hand in hand. They seemed to know just where they were going. 

One day I got the courage to get up and search my surroundings. I ventured over to an old wooden gate, pushed it open and went through. I found myself in a magnificent garden. I went over to a hammock and laid down in it, smelling the wonderful fragrance permeating the air. After a few months however, it got cold, flowers died and the garden became clogged with weeds. It looked pretty ugly. I decided to leave. 

I wandered all over this landscape for many more years, searching for some place to put down roots and call home. Most of my days and weeks were sunny, but many were cloudy and nights were cold. I don't like to be cold, but I am not yet sure where to get the warm clothing others seem to have. Some people here have nice shelters with gardens and people around that seem to nourish them physically and emotionally. 

I don’t know how they manage to accomplish all that, but maybe someday, if I ask the right questions to the right person I could learn how. Eventually, out of desperation, I get up the courage to ask questions of others. Their answers seem to be pointing me in a direction that could bring me closer to finding a home in this world.

If I keep on keeping on

and persevere

through every storm,

I know I'll find a home for sure

and cease my roaming

on and on.

Time will tell….The end