The Södenberg sisters sing to me tonight,
Their words sending me far from this slightly cold balcony,
To a realm of asphalt and dusty wind.
For my first 10 years there were no roads,
But a plethora of paths,
Winding to and fro,
Foot beaten little things in a great forest,
Filled with trees, creeks, waterfalls, and animals,
Birds singing beautiful songs as they sail through the trees,
Squirrels chattering from their perches amongst the great branches,
Whitetails observing my progress of the child .
As a young boy I'd sprint down these paths,
Unheeding of the odd roots that were placed along the paths,
So happy to just be moving forward,
To see what played around the next bend.
The next 10 years were simple things,
A two lane town road,
Buildings of my hometown on lined either side,
Their facades as they were,
Before the place of my forefathers got too big too fast,
Where all it's citizens knew my parents,
And by extention, me,
The birds and squirrels still there,
Although their number greatly diminished.
My pace was greatly diminished,
No longer some great sprint,
But a gentle jog,
Taking in the familiar sites,
But excited to leave this place,
Impatient for a change of scenery and anticipating some great adventure.
The next 3 were a treacherous yet exciting road,
A winding mountain pass,
Steep sloaped and lined with switchbacks,
Giving beautiful mountain vista views,
But with this new road also came the realization,
That the road could be a dangerous thing,
One slip could give way to a great fall,
The once gentle jog gave way to a cautious walk,
Wary of foot placement and step,
No birds here,
But instead of the rumble of far off thunder,
And the howling of distant wolves.
Then came the next four,
The thunder no longer far off,
The wolf howls no longer distant,
The asphalt cracked and split,
Closed in on both sides by a thick and menacing wood,
And through the darkness of the nearly moonless night the darting shapes of beasts could be seen.
Rain slashing down,
Galing winds battering me,
My body worn down,
My walk but a limp,
Taking my broken self forward,
One dragging step after another,
A constant struggle to find the energy to make it one step further,
To find reason to keep going.
But like some great magic trick the wooding cleared,
The rain stopped,
And the wolves pulled back.
It was here that I found you next to me.
This new road is a bit cracked,
A bit disused,
The desert beautiful with Mesas to either side,
My pace quickened,
No longer a slogging trudging thing,
But also not a run,
A relaxing stride that feels good and steady,
Churning onward to the mountains in the distance.
I look to you and you smile,
You smile back,
And it is here that I see hawks up above,
A fox to the far right,
Observing these travelers passing through it's lands.
No longer an unlined face,
Bearded and festooned with a smattering of scars,
Earned through foolish fights and terrible tumbles,
But gladly won and worn all the same,
Sun kissed skin taking in the pleasant warm arid air.
I know not where this road leads,
But the excitement returns once more,
And that I no longer need to travel it alone,
That traveling is never meant to be done all on one's own,
That it's the company that makes the trip worth it.
With that the duo's song ends,
And I am transported back to this balcony,
The air still clung to with the slipping grasp of winter's last vestiges,
And it's begrudging release so close at hand,
Bring forward new beginnings,
And new roads to be traversed.
First aid kit-My silver linings