The season asks you to walk a path, every day. More often than not, your travels will be simple enough. Whether uphill or down, the slope will be gentle, and you’ll walk it pleasantly enough. Your view will be a landscape filled with outs, hits, wins, and losses that, while all unique, are similar enough to keep you feeling mostly safe. You may have started these walks seeking something else entirely, perhaps you don’t know exactly what, but inevitably you’ll find these ever so slightly different features provide you comfort, and that comfort maybe has crept its way into your reasons for doing this. Maybe it has, over time, even become the reason.
It is important to remember, during these peaceful times, that the season is still in fact an unexplored wilderness. Eventually, without fail, you will find a path like yesterday’s; one you had never seen before. You will wonder as it offers a series of breathtaking vistas, gorgeous waterfalls, and exotic wildlife beyond description. You’re going to get caught up in it, rushing heedlessly forward, every bend and turn bringing a fresh, thrilling, historical strikeout. Your parents, your ancestors, will have told you of sights like these, but oral history is but a roughewn cave painting compared to ocular reality, and you’re finally seeing something you’re going to pass down to your children, and you look down and you’re running now, careless, heedless of all caution. The endless beauty and thrill of discovery provides a rapturous ecstasy, and you will inhale it deeply.
Then, the bridge will go out, and you will find yourself falling. Unlike everything else about these adventures, in a fall the key part is really the distance traveled. During this day’s excitement you had, without realizing it, pushed higher and higher into the wilderness. Your fall is going to be a long one. It is going to hurt.
Back home, you’ll nurse your wounds, apply your poultices, and drink your tonics. You’re going to be despondent with pain both physical and emotional. You’ve injured yourself plenty of times outside, but this one was different. You were close. Close to something special. You could feel it. It may have just been on the other side of that bridge.
A flicker of doubt will flash. Was it real? Or had you just imagined it in your joy? The pain from that fall is real enough. Yes, that’s a reality you won’t question for some time. You will lay yourself to bed that night, a mixture of confusion and hurt.
Tomorrow, you will wake up, still sore. You will look out your window. You will see there’s a path you have never walked before. It’s probably just another one of those comforting strolls, and that will sound pretty nice after yesterday. But, you’ll let yourself think, maybe it’s not. Maybe you didn’t imagine whatever you were close to before that bridge broke. Maybe this is an alternate route! Maybe, maybe there’s something even better out there.
All the season asks is, go find out.