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The Long Journey to a Brighter Future
Travelling the Shadowy Path
Time, the great healer, worked its mysterious way and eventually I was able to summon up the resolve to move on. It was deep winter now, both dark and cold with the path ahead unclear and far from smooth. Alone, an icy wind attacked my resolve constantly as I strove to press on, always unsure of both my route and the obstacles to be faced and overcome.
It seemed an eternity had passed as I rounded yet another corner to be confronted by yet another obstacle, this time so large and forbidding there seemed no way to possibly overcome it.
The obstacle in front of me, I eventually determined, was a pair of solid and enormous gates stretching upwards into the mists and clouds and horizontally into the freezing murk that surrounded me on all sides. Two handles were set upon the gates but placed so far apart that it was impossible for one person to use them at the same time. I tried one handle but the gate refused to budge a centimetre, as also took place with the other when I tried there. The way forward was truly denied to me.
Chilled by the cold, and downhearted by the obstacle, I sank to the ground seeking what shelter I could from the surrounding boulders. How long I dwelt there I cannot say but after what seemed an eternity, I saw some form of shadowy movement in the misty distance. Focussing as best I could, I made out the shape as a human form travelling down the same rocky path as I had done before. As the shadow neared I was eventually able to recognise the form as not only human but also female.
From Dark and Cold to Light and Warmth.
The female, for so it was,glanced at me but briefly as she passed to confront the Gates in front of her.She repeated what I, myself had done ,trying without sucess to open one gate at a time.As failure registered total despair engulfed her and she too, slumped to the ground in distress and exhaustion.
Noticing her pllght, I approached her gingerly, but noticing this movement she withdrew even further into herself. I paused to both give her time and to work out what my next move had to be. I was still considering what to do when I heard her voice for the very first time. " Perhaps together we could open the gates" ,she said softly, almost in a whisper. The words had a galvanising effect on me and I stretched out my arm to her. She took my hand and raised herself up to enable us to walk together and approach the huge gates.
Once there, we each took a handle, looked at each other, smiled and pressed down simultaneously . A second elapsed, it could have been 100 years, and then to our great joy the locks raised and the gates swang open. Together, side by side we passed through to the other side. No sooner had we done so than behind us the gates swang back again locking themselves as before.
However,ahead of us was a very different vista. The path which had been very rocky was now smooth and much easier to make progress on. The cold and icy wind had gone, replaced by a balmy Springlike breeze, making everything much easier and more enjoyable. Thus did we travel on, laughing, talking and assissting each other along the way until once more we reached another bend. Rounding it we found our way barred once more by an identical pair of gates to those we had left behind us earlier.
A Lesson Learned.
This time though we both felt no qualms and strode up to the gates with confidence and almost without thinking we each took a handle to press down upon. The locks again sprang open to enable us to pass through without further delay.However, this time after we had passed the doors remained open so we could see the path we had trodden behind us as we meandered carefreely forward in a comforting combination of warmth, trust and happiness.
A short way on we chanced upon a smal pathside cabinet.Finding it unlocked, we opened the small door to discover inside an aged parchment. Unrolling it together we both read silently the following words, "Welcome travellers. You have travelled far and now reach this pont because you have learned an important lesson. Retain this lesson and the rest of your journies through life will be even more rewarding and fulfilling".
"You now know that " I" and "Me" can never achieve that which "We" and "Us" can produce."
We returned the parchment to the cabinet for the next travellers to see, picked up our belongings and smiled at each other as we did so. The smiles became an embrace, no words required, and we then joined hands once more, setting forth with confidence, caring and affection to the future. Our future.