Do you go in?
You look back behind you, you see the world around you, and realize you want what’s inside.
You step through the gate. You walk down and meet up with your two new friends. Celebrating you don’t notice three people walking up to you.
“This is your guide.” Your friend says. “You can trust him. We’ll walk a little ways together and then who knows what.”
So you all strike off down the wide pathway. The older friend talks to you, tells you all sorts of tales of his travels in this isolated sphere.
Suddenly you come to a stop.
“It looks like your guide is taking you down that path.” Your older friend says to the one that came in with you.
The one that came in with you nods.
“Trust in your guide. Learn to read what he does and never lose sight of him. Make sure you cling to him otherwise you’ll be lost in here forever.”
With one last nod, he sets off waving goodbye. You watch him for a little while and then turn back to follow your guide and walk with your older friend.
Your older friend tells you more stories of the journey they’ve been on. Then you stop again.
“Well, this is where we separate. Your path lies that way.” You follow their pointed finger. The path looks dark, twisted, and dangerous.
“My friends path didn’t look like that!” You nearly shout, you’re worried that it’s going to be hard.
“Every person’s path looks like this. It’s just they’re the only person to see it as such. To me, your path looks like a pleasant walk in the afternoon.”
“But it’s so dark and twisted.”
“My path is just the same. But remember to every person their journey is much more difficult than it seems to others. But have faith in your guide. He will lead you true and never let you get into a situation you can’t get through.”
You nod, and swallow. “Okay. I’m ready.”
With that you set off following your guide.
He doesn’t talk much, but he goes at a pace easy for you to follow.
You’ve been able to walk through some forest paths, alongside bubbling streams, through peaceful meadows. Finally there comes the day you’ve been dreading.
The sun rises as you stand with your guide at the edge of a canyon. As you look down, you hear a sudden moaning, no wailing, as if something died.
“Are we…going down there?”
Your guide stands there quietly.
You stare out over the canyon for the better part of the day. Someone comes along and you eat lunch with them. They tell you it’s okay, they’ve been through the canyon themselves. It’s not easy, but once you get through it, it’s so much better.
They leave, and you stand. You walk to the entrance of the canyon, and your guide looks at you.
“Do not fear.”
And then your guide starts down the path into the canyon. You hesitate and then follow.
The canyon is deep, dark, and difficult. Your guide sticks close, only a couple feet in front of you.
You go through intense sadness and sorrow in the canyon. You moan and mourn your journey. You cry and get angry. You’re ready to quit, to give up and leave the enclosure, to die.
Your guide just sits and comforts you. He continues to lead you, constantly whispering “Do not fear.”
You fall asleep in your guide’s arms nearly every night. One night you hear something new, “I’ll never abandon you.”
A few nights later, “I will always walk with you.”
You spend a good amount of time in the canyon. Possibly weeks, maybe months.
Your guide continues to comfort you, you suddenly begin to go upwards. You begin climbing out of the canyon and for one of the first times in a long while you see the bright sun. You see the blue sky, the green trees.
“We made it!” You celebrate having exited the canyon.
As you continue your guide begins to speak more and more. Soon you’re having entire conversations with him. He’s taking you through valleys, over mountains, above rivers, through tunnels in the ground, as he tells you more and more about the enclosure.
You continue to wander. One day your guide leads you to the fence. There’s someone walking near the fence.
“Hey!” They shout. “How do you get in?”
Your guide points to the left along the fence. “The gate is that way.” He tells you.
“Go that way!” You say pointing to the left. “Head that way and you’ll find the gate.”
“Thank you!” They shout back and then take off running.
“You did good,” your guide says. “That was what happened to you too. I had someone point you in the right direction too.”
And then he walks off and you follow.
You walk around the enclosure for years and years. You’ve learned to know your guide intimately. You’ve gotten to the point where you can read his thoughts, and you rarely talk because you already know what he’s saying. You love your guide, and wouldn’t spend a day without him. On the horizon you see a building. The first building you’ve seen in the entire enclosure.
It’s a beautiful building. Large, with many, many windows.
“That is the end of our journey.” Your guide says, answering your unspoken question. “That is where we will finally rest and spend the rest of time together. We will talk about our journey together, and undoubtedly listen to others stories as well.”
You realize that an entire lifetime has passed, and you’re tired, so very tired.
“Well, I suppose I’m up for a new experience.” You reply smiling.
“Do not fear.” Was all that your guide replied to you before he opened the door for you.