7:20 PM

The Paths We Walk

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

Slowly visualize this with me, taking one word at a time.

You're walking in a large field. At one point you stop and look behind you. Clearly marked is the path you came from. It flows over the earth and tells a tale. It has up hills and down and bends and unexpected turns as you roamed though your life. It's a path very familiar to you. As you look forward you cannot see any one way to take. There are uphills that seem hard, ditches to jump over, smooth fields of ease, prickly bushes dot the land here and there. As you stand there you see someone approaching. They don't notice you at all although you can clearly see them. As the person gets closer you see it is a woman. She looks tired. She looks lost. She struggles with every step she takes getting closer and closer to you. Finally she's about to cross your path when she stumbles slightly. You catch her arm and prevent her from falling. You help her rise slowly. She looks at you dazed having never even saw you there. You smile and like a beam of sunlight it shines against her face warming her heart. You continue to hold her hand in yours giving her comfort and strength. Her bent back straightens slightly. Words are spoken. Relief is felt. You exchange tales of the paths you have walked. Each one helping the other to forget the struggles they have faced. As you stand there you both realize time is growing short. You should continue on your journey. As you slightly take a step so does she. Your step is to the right. Her step is to the left. You both look at the other with a quizzical look in your eye. You take another step right and look at her. She takes another step left. Your hands are almost about to separate. You give one last squeeze. Her cool fingers leave yours and she takes another step left. Confidently. You smile and take another step right. After a few more steps you look back and see where your paths clearly crossed. It was a beautiful moment but there is no stopping the paths. They must continue to be walked. As she is fading off into her path you are suddenly blinded by an intense light. It shines so brightly that the whole world is illuminated. You look around and are astonished to see so many people around you and so many paths criss-crossing with each other. Each one not seeing the other. Surprised when they bump into someone. But everyone keeps moving. You look forward and can see hazy lines through the fields. They stretch out as far as the eye can see. You take a step forward along one and another set of paths open up. You choose a different one this time and take a few more steps. With every step you take the hazy ones vanish and are replaced by your footsteps. You can hazily see the vague image of a man ahead. He is smiling and holding out his hand for you. You quicken your steps to reach him. He is the one. The one meant for you. You take his hand and you both continue to walk side by side making parallel paths. More faces are vague in the distance as you both cover hills and prickly bushes. Small innocent faces sleeping. As you reach your children and you notice there is no path connected to them. You wake them and both take their hands and place them on an empty spot between yours. Your child takes it's first step along the paths. You continue to support them until one day the grown child lets go of your hand and takes a step away from your path and begins to forge it's own. You can still clearly see them as they struggle but it is their path they must face it and choose it's course. As you take more and more steps on your journey you realize each path has felt right when you walked upon it. Your soul already knew where it's path lie. You just had to take the steps to follow it. You feel more urgent as you look back along the paths. It seems so long. You are starting to feel weary of walking. You think perhaps someday soon you'd like to stop and rest a while. The feeling grows but you stubbornly fight it. You've still got steps to take. You still have mountains to climb. You look forward to a giant mountain looming in the distance. A part of you wants to reach it and conquer it but the rest of you is saying, slow down, let's rest. Ah perhaps a small rest wont harm anything. You slow down and let go of his hand. You smile and nod for him to keep going. You'll catch up. As you sit down on the beautiful path and smile up at the mountain. You relax and close your eyes. Ah so this is what it feels like to rest. You lay down. The mountain is no longer in sight as you give into the feeling of contentment and go to sleep. This is where your path ends. The other paths go on. You feel them flowing by you in your sleep. Some pass by you and tip-toe around your sleeping form. None wake you. You continue to sleep dreaming of the day you will awaken to a place where there is no walking, only contentment.

~Brandy A. Chase (c) 2009

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