Dream Abandoned

Location

There she was, under the bridge,
beckoning me home again.
Her hair like sunlight,
amidst the darkness of the trees.
Her milk white skin glistening in the mist.
Her eyes were piercing, the temptation was strong.
My dream was straight ahead,
a life I desired.
But to my left was this wondrous thing,
a whole new world for me to explore.
The stretch of sand extended farther than the sky,
and I knew I had to see what treasures the emptiness hid.
With each new step I uncovered nothing.
But the curiosity remained,
and prospect pushed me forward.
Just one more foot, one more mile, one more horizon.
Was there destiny for me, here in the sands?
Was there an oasis for me to rest?
Something to keep me going, anything to say -
yes, this is right.
Then, just when hope was about to take flight,
A monstrous wall appeared before me,
so high it blocked the sun, so long it tapered in the distance.
And engraved over every inch was a story.
About a man. About a journey.
About the rise of a kingdom…
and the fall of gods.
The fascination was strong.
I couldn’t pull away.
But I knew it ended here.
There was nothing beyond the wall.
No more to the story then a tale of kings.
Her image came to me then,
reminding me of what I was missing,
telling me to come back –
there’s nothing more in these hot sands.
And I knew.
I pulled away and travelled back.
All the while recalling the stories as memory
slowly
fled.
She seemed farther away when I returned.
Almost punishing me for leaving.
I took a step toward her,
the warmth of the sands flowed away.
Her fingers stretched towards me,
offering a solace.
But a flash of light caught my eye,
just like sunlight glistening off –
Yes!
The ocean.
I gave her an apologetic smile,
and turned.
This time it not only had distance,
it had depth.
Yet it was not to dark waters this voyage would take me,
but to the stars.
The ship was waiting, sails full and ready to go.
As I embarked it slowly rose, spinning up to the sky.
The stars wrapped around me,
the darkness enveloped me,
my excitement grew.
I knew each offered a new adventure,
a new challenge.
There were so many different peoples,
lands, and tales.
I wanted to explore them all.
I needed to.
Most remained untouched by others –
their worlds still a mystery,
their secrets hidden.
I could be someone here.
That notion propelled me forth,
But I was far from ready.
The ship’s wheel resisted my command,
I nearly drowned in a river of wine,
the shades of gods tried to pull me under the earth,
and I barely escaped unspeakable monsters.
I should stick with what I know,
I should go back.
But if I just tried harder,
if I practiced, learned,
maybe I could survive up here.
Maybe in a couple years…
I turned the ship around,
the wheel slid easily in my hands.
Upon my return,
the ocean was calm, gloomy.
The sun’s rays no longer breaching the clouds.
She was barely in sight
when I reached the grove,
but I knew she was waiting ahead.
Confliction held me fast.
I could go back to the sands,
but there was nothing more there.
I could go back to the sea,
but risk losing it all.
I could go forward,
it was what I knew.
But I am ready for a change.
I turned back,
the way I had come,
back up the mountain.

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