Today I sat and imagined myself hiking an area I once knew:
The air smells crisp and damp in the dawn of the morning as soothing light begins to spill through the canopy overhead. The forest floor is carpeted with lush ferns and accented with seemingly ancient boulders. A low fog still clings to the moist ground, muffling my footsteps as I pad down a narrow trail toward a large rock formation.
I deftly swing myself up the rock face, using the large muscles of my legs to do the majority of the work. I take off my pack and sit along the edge, allowing Nature to ensconce me in her verdant embrace. I long for the peace such moments often bring, but today I suddenly feel disconnected.
The air begins to cool and I feel the winds of change stir around my body. A familiar sinking sensation grips my stomach as the contentment is replaced by a void of emptiness. The once benign trees begin to close around me, isolating myself even further from what I want, and who I am. My mind screams to fight back, but my body doesn't have the energy or determination to make the stand.
Thunder rumbles off in the distance as I glance nervously toward the rapidly darkening sky. I search through my bag and pull out a book and a raincoat just as a chill, misty rain begins to fall. I reach into my pocket and feel a small turtle shaped charm. I pull the hood low over my face and squeeze the little turtle into my hand as I prepare to wait out yet another storm.