The bridge beckoned me; the lights in the distance encouraged me. I had travelled far to get to this point; to reach this bridge that no-one had believed existed. My faith had brought me here: faith that there was a better place for me. A place where I would have enough food everyday. A place where I could be free to practice my art. A place where a could be free to be who I am without being oppressed by the drudgery of finding food to fill the ever-open mouths of children and elders. Crossing this bridge would bring about a life filled with meaning for me; a life that I had decided on myself.
And yet crossing this bridge brought with it some risk. As I peered down the length of it, I remembered the old tales. Tales in which those with malleable minds were drawn into the churning waters below by sirens too beautiful to behold. Tales in which those with uncontrolled fears turned back to escape the monsters of their mind. Would my mind be strong enough to withstand the magic that surrounded this crossing? I would like to believe so. But then, one never knew how one would react in a situation.
I thought of the journey I had taken to get here, the dangers I had overcome. I thought with regret of my companion who had died of fever only three days ago. I had grieved, as one only could for a life-long friend. How he would have loved to stand here beside me, facing the walkway to our future. I could still take strength from him: I could remember his courage, and his unfailing belief in me. Surely that can be my guardian against the onslaught my mind will encounter once I step onto the bridge.
I take a deep breath and stretch my arms skyward. Closing my eyes, I allow the mist to surround and encompass me. I become one with the earth. I hear the rustling of the trees behind me, the stirrings of the wildlife. I breathe deeply once more. I make a mental count of my supplies: my water skin is full, my food pouch filled with berries and pieces of the rabbit I had roasted the night Roan died. I was never more ready than now. My mind was settled. What better time to walk towards a new life than at the break of day?
I placed my foot on the bridge.
What do you think will happen as I cross the bridge?
© Colline Kook-Chun, 2012
(This post was inspired by the prompt given by Kellie Elmore. A visit to her post is the bridge to even more prose and poetry on these walkways.)