A personal allegory

December 24 2012

I wrote this years ago, on my way to boot camp. If you enjoy, feel free to respond. 600 words is hard.

I look behind me and there is light. It shines with a great brightness. I look ahead of me and see: Nothing. I see darkness and despair, the unknown. How silly I must look to anyone watching, up here standing between my past and my future. The bright security of my past illuminates me from behind, making me visible to all I am yet to see.
I turn and face the brightness. How easy it would be to walk back there and stay where I am. I look over my shoulder and shiver. Surely the darkened path is steep, uneven and cluttered with debris that will make me fall. I should just go back down the path I know. I know it is level and clear.
I start down the lighted trail, going back to smiling faces. First the faces of those I know, faces of love. The trail is steady and clear. My past quietly whispers that I should return to the new path.
Then I understand. These are the people I would have, could have, should have met, had I risked the dark, the unknown. Yet still I walk forward, further on the lighted path. The people of my past and missed future look on with concern, but still they let me continue on.
Suddenly, I stumble. What did I trip over? There was nothing in the trail last time I was here. I look, and see that I tripped over my desire to change; it lies here broken and defeated. I have killed it. But WAIT, it still moves. I have a chance to revive it.
I know what I must do. I must take it back the other way, into the unknown. I look to the darkness, back the other way. I can’t go there. I continue in the light.
In front of me there is a wall, it wasn’t there before. I look at the wall, and recognize it immediately. It is a wall of my disappointment. Disappointment in myself. I can go around it, but eventually it will appear again.
I look back again, at the future I turned away from. It seems a little brighter, grey now, not black, with light in the distance. That light; hope, lets me know that the end of the path will bright.
I walk toward the grey, and pick up my desire for change. I look back on my familiar path. Sure, it was a nice path, but I am done with it now. Clearly I cannot go back that way. I must continue on.
So here I am. At the edge again, with the light at my back and the unknown trail ahead. In my hands is the desire to change. I hesitate.. Is this my last chance to turn back? No, but I am going to keep going on the unfamiliar path. How can I turn back and kill a part of me?
I take that first step forward, and the path ahead seems to lighten, just a bit. I tell myself not to look back, and take another step. The light brightens more.
My desire for change has been revived, and become a part of me. I know what is behind me, but ahead of me lay new challenges and excitement. I will go forward, knowing that I am not leaving my old path.
So to my old path, goodbye for now. To my new path: Ready or not Here I Come!

Virginia Kidwell
[email protected]
Yakima, WA

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