As I walk through the ever increasingly dark streets, fumbling with thoughts in my head, running into strangers I’ve never met, I am reminded of similar times in the woods. The woods seem so familiar now, logging road here, a swamp there. You knew where there used to be bear dens and which areas to avoid. You were always at risk of an animal attack, but deep down inside, you knew it was never going to happen.
Now as I stare upward, I no longer see the crisp spattering of stars and moon against a perfectly black sky. I see hazy outlines far in the distance against a backdrop of purple. No longer can you hear a squirrel running up the tree one last time before nestling into bed. But the sounds of air traffic and taxis fill your head.
So here I am, wandering this city as if it were my first time in the woods again. This time, defenseless against that that do I not know. I peek my head around corners warily, unknowing of what lies ahead. I walk timidly instead of strong and bold. I meet people on the street that are really just wolves in disguise. Which one of these allies holds my demise?
Some streets look promising as you begin your walk. Then you suddenly realize, it’s just another dead end. You fight and struggle to get back to your starting point, wipe the slate clean, and start out again. By the time you’ve reached the next roadblock, you’ve fallen further behind.
Every new intersection looks just like the last. Is there a way out of this? Which way do I turn? Where do I run? How do I get back to seeing stars the way they were meant to be seen? When will I be able to walk confidently in a land I know again? Is there such a time? Or am I doomed to be wandering aimlessly, caught in a web? Who can help me? Is there anyone?
Just please take me back. Take me back to the woods where everything is simple. Everything is clear. And everything has direction. Take me back to what I know.