They sat on the outstretched branches and let their toes dangle in the water. That such a paradise could be hidden in plain sight, as it was, always surprised them but they didn’t lament the quiet, the solitude, the serenity. For those moments each day, when they slipped away from the world to lounge in their spot, everything else seemed to fade away. No cares. No concerns. No deadlines. Just the gentle lapping of the surf pressing up against the soles of their feet and the ocean breeze cooling their thoughts.
He laughed when his friends had told him not to go venturing alone in the dark. He hadn’t believed the stories they had given voice over their quick, shared meal. There were no such things as ghosts or goblins or anything else that went bump in the night. There was always a logical explanation, a natural one.
As the light approached, he called out for whichever one of his friends was trying to scare him to knock it off. When the light continued closer with no response and he hailed them again with the same results, he felt a tightening in his chest that he associated with fear. However, he forced that feeling away as he knew there was nothing to be afraid of. The source of the light would reveal itself shortly and he would laugh for having, even so briefly, let his imagination get the better of him.
Then the light passed, a floating orb, suspended by nothing, and unlike anything he had ever seen or heard of before. Nothing was holding it up and the light was so intense he couldn’t penetrate it to see what was creating it. It simply bobbed along, as though carried by the night’s gentle breeze.
Though it seemed to slow as it brushed by him, so close he could have reached out and touched it, he dismissed that possibility as his mind playing tricks on him. He was certain when he returned home and researched the area he would find that it was a bug, or something like that, native to the area.
He turned away, intending to resume his journey into the night, when the sight of it circling back around towards him caused his feet to stall. Then the tightening in his chest returned but he was powerless to ease the tension. Sweat broke out on his brow and his heads turned clammy. Its light seemed to grow brighter and he sensed that, whatever it was, it was hungry.
Rational thought and logical explanations no longer concerned him as he fled, a scream on his lips.
The possibilities…. Which path to take? The all lead to the same place, but the journey there can be so very different. Fast? Steep? Bumpy? Slow? Soft? Casual?
Sometimes I like to pick the challenging roads. I like the adrenaline rush and the feeling of having accomlished something outside my comfort zone when I make it to the bottom. Sometimes I like to pick the easy runs and just meander peacefully down. And sometimes the mountain laughs at me and make the easy runs difficult too. And sometimes I laugh at the mountain and glide easily down the hard ones.
These are the games we play, when we lose ourselves to the slopes and powder.
I have loved this sport
As long as I remember
The beautiful game