I am walking through a forest toward a mountain. Walking, not rolling. Wearing no cloth on my skin. But I do not feel scared from these changes. It is normal here, the way it is supposed to be. Leaves crunch under my feet, and I know I'm moving toward a goal but I have no idea where I am or how I got there. I just know that I'm supposed to be walking.
If there is beauty around me, I'm not really conscious of it. I hear no birds or wind or even leaves crunching. I just feel those. What I do hear are the voices in my head, automatic after so many years of pounding.
Broken, says the snake sounding voice that might be the wind. Worthless. Weak. Stupid. Nothing.
No! I scream out loud, and the sudden noise scares me into a run, flat out full speed, trying to escape the words, the voice. But they follow me. Still running, I try to conjure an image of love and happiness against the wind, like Harry Potter's Patronas against the Dementors.
Expecto Patronum! Expecto Patronum! Little images and feelings come. Hugs, grapes, lines of songs, but nothing can keep the wind away for more than a split second.
I am running so hard that I come to the top of a hill that seemed so far away before I am aware of it. I become aware again just before I run off the edge. The wind becomes suddenly silent. I am above the little forest I was running through. Off the edge of my high place there is only fog, but through it, I can see brilliant sunlight across from me. The wind stays quiet and I feel stronger and less sick facing the sun. But there is no more solid path under my feet. The sunlight is there across from me, but I have no further I can safely go.
I turn my face back the way I came, away from the sun. Instantly the wind whips my face and spirit. Worthless! I struggle to turn back toward the sun and when I do, the wind dies again.
So I know I have to continue in the direction of the sun. There is no path under me now, but I have to trust that there is path on the other side. I have to jump. There is no safety net under me. No closure. No kind word of goodbye to those that cause the wind.
You will die, screams the wind in my ear, knowing it's losing power over me. Desperate.
I definitely will if I give myself is to you, I say aloud, making firm my resolve. Besides, I know how to tuck and roll. If I hit the forest floor, I will just keep walking.
And I close my eyes and spread out my arms, hands and fingers in the ultimate open embrace, feeling a little like Jesus might have on the cross.
And I jump.
But I am not falling down. I'm flying forward, toward the sun, feeling it warmer and warmer on my face. And I am not afraid.
Suddenly, I am roughly pushed forward and land on my face, hard but safe, with ground under me. I made it.
I roll onto my back, and feel the sun on my skin and face, warm and welcoming. I do not open my eyes just yet, savoring the feeling that I never thought I would ever experience.
Soon, I'm aware of feeling someone's skin next to mine, holding me tightly, also enjoying the sun. I wrap my arms around my loved one who was here waiting for me patiently for a long time. I do not have to open my eyes. I smell the sun on our skin, the most beautiful scent in the world.
And the evil wind is gone.
Welcome home, whispers a new breeze, and one who creates it, in my ear. And we sleep there in complete peace, finally.
My loved one gently rocks me awake much later. I finally open my eyes to see millions of twinkling stars above us. We watch the patterns for awhile, then silently get up and walk slowly home, hand in hand, skin shining in the moonlight.
I hear my name and open my eyes. I look around confused at the bars of the hospital bed. I sigh. A dream. But I face the day happier because I know it will come true someday.