It is a million steps to the mountain top. The climb is high, and long. But the road is always long from the start and the climb always high from down. Like many of you, I took my first step long ago. I trucked along. But I stopped somewhere. I stopped for a long while. I was stuck on the ground. God knows, how long. Then one fine spring break, I saw a homeless child smile, butterflies flitting among white daisies blooming wild. I smelled the fresh fragrance of sweet peas and orchids. I felt the sweet drizzle of the first April shower, the soft breeze on my skin on a summer evening. I heard a bird chirping a new song, perched on a leafless tree on a fall’s day. I heard the whistling of the winter wind and I turned.
The road was long. The climb was high, sometimes smooth and straight, sometimes winding. There were funny bends and strange turns. The paths were stony, rocky and narrow in some places. Some climbs were very steep. I did not dare to look down or look up. Some places were dark and shadowy. In some places, there were no roads. I struck down thickets and bushes. I shoveled and made my way.
Some days the sun shone. The days were bright and pleasant. The moon and stars lit my way in the dark. Glow worms and fireflies leading me on. The climb was easy. Not, most often. The weather was cold or rough sometimes. Some days it rained, and the rain was heavy. My path was flooded with muddy waters and water got into my shoes. The things that flooded along hindered my path. Sometimes the floodwater was high and I drowned. Sometimes I swam against the flow. There were times when dark clouds and fog blinded my way. I could not see clearly. I could not move far. Sometimes, stormy wind knocked me down. At times the strong cold winds pushed me forward to a new direction. And the rain was just what I needed. It washed me and renewed my spirit.
I had much to view and breathe in. But the many turns along the road and around the bend always brought me to a new finish line. But my bag was loaded and heavy. I was weary and beaten. I missed my step somewhere along the road. I fell. It was a long fall. I don’t quite remember how I got to where I am now. Did I fall here, or was I drifting, floating, walking or climbing still. Was I sleeping and dreaming?
Maybe, I fell off the wayside, missed a turn somewhere and took a long climb around. Maybe I rolled down the hill, to the river and flowed with the water. Maybe the storm or a strong wind blew me off on a spiral, round and round like a merry carousel, with no destination and never ending. Or, maybe, it was the dust that got into my eyes when the storm came. I just could not see where I was going and I slept off and I dreamed. For, my dream brought me here.
In my dream I found my way through the cold mist and floated among the clouds. I could fall listless like a cotton ball or heavy like a snowball. But I grew wings and I could fly across the seven seas and to some secret places. I could fly over the mountain top, hover over it. I could hover over deep blue oceans. I could fly across the universe.
In my dream, with the winds beneath my wings, I fluttered a never ending mesmerizing trail of wonder world. My wings could flutter away all evils. It fluttered away hunger and poverty, all miseries, sickness, hatred and tragedies of life. It could take me anywhere, to the depth of the ocean and even down beneath the sea. It could flutter up any dreams and wishes and make them come true.
The night was long. I could not wait for the dawn to break. I woke up and hurried to catch the first glimpse of the day break. It’s a new day. It’s a new life. I shall follow the sun and watch it go down and rise again. And I shall chase the butterflies and rainbow in the sky and paint my sky with shades of a simple, yet beautiful mind, for my dream gave me the magic spell—words, simple words. They are what I had and what I have.
And here I am back to where my today’s and tomorrow’s belong… among tall green grass and yellow fields of warmth and abundance, big blue skies, golden sandy beaches and mighty waves rolling never ending dreams; among flowers and tall trees that speak, and misty mountains that tell thousand stories, sparkling rivers, gurgling brooks and cool springs of joy, yellow leaves and browned old pages filled with sweet memories; among sun-kissed mountain peaks that hold promises, cool dew drops laden with hopes on soft green grass on a new winter morning, and the garden in the backyard full of life’s delight. The list is endless.
My million steps to the mountain top have just begun again. I don’t know how long it will take to reach the top. I don’t know if I would ever reach anywhere. All I know is that the climb continues and I have words to build and pave my way beautiful and joyful up the climb. That is all that matters now. I now sprinkle each step with words of beauty and bliss. The climb is long and high. I may slip. I may stumble and fall. I may hurt. But come shine or rain, it’s going to be a million laughter and sparkles up to the mountain. Happy in my old faded jeans… I breathe anew.