I was driving one day through a beautiful woody area in the Santa Cruz mountains. It was cool, shaded and you can smell the salt in the ocean air. For much of the ride I felt like the road was mine. The turns, dips and curves came at me, but like second nature I didn’t even have to think but just reacted. I didn’t have any music going but allowed the sounds of the trees to be my guide. I had no idea what was coming but trusted I would be ok. A fork was approaching and I began to panic! The unknown and confusion of what was unseen took my mind off of the beauty and guidance that has gotten me this far. I couldn’t take my foot off the gas because fear was now in control. A tight grip on the wheel, cold sweat running down my cheeks was now merging with the tears that had begun to fall. I could see moments of my life that had become pilars of strength, but the future was empty. The fork in the road was upon me and I decided to close my eyes, well I don’t think it was a choice but a reflex. There is no way to change what is coming. I can not feel my legs anymore, it is getting colder and colder by the second. The sounds of the wind rustling through the leaves are bringing such a clam to me. I feel like I need a nap. I just want to close my eyes for a minute. I have been driving all morning. I can feel the cold dripping down my cheeks. I don’t know why I was so afraid, but now I don’t have to worry. I gave up on life instead of making a choice. I can’t hear the beauty around me anymore, but I can see where the road meets the hills before me. A faded view of nature is passing and like driving through a tunnel it is moving away like I can see it in my rear view mirror. The rhythm in my chest has long gone and with a wink a say good night and good bye.
There is a deep place that I sometimes go. I usually do not ask to be taken there, but it welcomes me with its cold arms and still air. It is not lit very well, and tends to get darker as I visit. Sometimes I feel myself reaching to leave, and the exit runs from me not wanting me to go. It has a familiar smell, and it feels like I have been coming here since I was a child. The feeling is comfort, like an old sweater that you throw on to sit on a couch and watch your favorite movie. It gets so dark that I can no longer see. The cold takes over the comfort,or is it that I realize it was never comfortable but just familiar. Loneliness envelopes the senses and where I once would reach to escape I can no longer recognize as my way out. Closing my eyes takes me deeper and the silence becomes deafening. I can feel the cold air and warm breathe create condensation with drops of water upon my face. Seeing the bad choice I made to return to this place makes it harder to leave. Realizing it wasn’t a choice to come here at all makes the exit light illuminate. Feeling the water drip more steadily now, and becoming aware that the water is my tears brings me strength to rise up. Grabbing my life and rising up to move forward to that red blinking exit sign and hearing in my head this way to happiness. My hand on the cold doorknob, I turn to look and ask if this place is so bad after all? It is mine and it is safe. I open the door to newness and the light of a new day. Rise up and do not let depression be your friend I told myself. The first step is the hardest, but it is also your first step.