I don’t remember when I started the journey down this path. Sometimes it feels like I just began to climb the mountain. Other times, it feels like I’ve been climbing for years. The forest is both wide and narrow. Some days I look around and recognize nothing. On days like this, I being to think I must have wandered into an entirely different forest. Other days, things look so familiar, and I swear I am just walking in circles.

This evening, the path in front of me feels fresh but also familiar. I see the mountain in front of me and climb, one step at a time. Colors fill the sky as the sun is beginning to set. “I should be afraid”, I think to myself. But instead, I feel a sense of hope, as though maybe I’m finally getting somewhere.

As I get closer to the peak, I notice a clearing on my right. I know I’m supposed to keep going forward. People always say small steps in the right direction will get you to your destination. And my goal is to reach the top of the mountain, right? But I find myself drawn to the clearing.

I stop for a moment, taking a breath. The colors are brighter now – so very beautiful. I don’t stop enough to just notice them. A cool breeze kisses my cheek, and I feel something unfamiliar. Hope? Peace? Desire? Longing? I’m not sure what to call it, but it’s delightful. My mind tries to remind me that such detours are silly, risky and a waste of time. My goal is to get to the top, that is where we are supposed to go.

But in that moment, with my mind racing with the reasons I can’t take a detour, I can’t resist the urge to take a small step to the right. One small step after another. And another and another. I look up and in the distance, I see it. That place I thought only existed in my dreams was right here in front of me. Before I knew it, I was skipping like a little girl to that stone cottage that I just knew was meant to be my home.

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