The Starting Line

We read in ancient texts and fragmented stories, of a lonely adventurer. A person armed with only an idea, embarking on a great trek across a dangerous wilderness filled with unrelenting peril. Forced to endure personal trials that tear at the fabric of sanity.

Draped across the body, the weary traveler is covered in thin furs which were sewn together by their tired hands. Hanging loose at the hip, a sharpened knife for food and protection.  A small leather bag hangs down the back prepared with only bare necessities. An empty canteen draped over one shoulder dangling by a thin leather strap, and a smooth walking stick clutched in a firm grip. Perhaps the traveler walks the path barefoot; unshaven, unkempt, half starved, exhausted, alone.

Enduring a life altering struggle through vast territories. On a long arduous voyage; be it for self betterment or maybe seeking the cure for a terminal illness for a dying child. A journey of the mind, and/or body, whether for spiritual awakening, or a test of physical endurance.

They seek the opening of the third eye or a connection with the meta physical (in some accounts), or a religious excursion, and the seeker desires to know more than what they already know. A means to an end. A path to enlightenment. A trail of tears, or a never ending hunger for a lost artifact buried among hidden treasures.

The search for a forgotten deity from antiquity, or craving that secret knowledge everyone speaks about in hushed circles. The traveler stumbles across an ancient rumor or overhears a story passed down by an elder. The young warrior happens across information in an old book, or sees a drawing hanging on the wall of a holy sanctuary. A trinket raised high on a pedestal, in a temple, which is notoriously surrounded by a diabolical mystery.

Once the interest is piqued, it becomes something else. It morphs from nothing into something small, yet possibly tangible. A metaphorical seed.

If pondered, plotted, and pursued, it can easily transform into a seed that has a potential to never stop growing.

Once we stumble upon it, or it captures the attention for a fleeting moment, we can carry the seed in our pocket, or ignore it all together. I suppose the choice on what to do with it is all ours. Every once in a while we can roll it around in our palm and smile at it. Take pride in it for a time.

Or, maybe, toss it in a cubby somewhere safe. Perhaps the clutter drawer in the kitchen. Let it bounce around with the other stuff that’s just taking up space; unused and forgotten.

Only when the seed is driven into the soil, and provided the nutrients it requires, can it have a better chance of growing and possibly surviving. Even thriving and blossoming in some situations. These travelers of the ancient times, these folks who hungered for that journey, came across a seed, pondered it’s purpose, plotted, planted and pursued it’s potential.

Once it becomes a seed, or something that’s believed to be of use and value, it then requires planting. The journey to growth must begin. It serves no purpose in the drawer.

If I had my way, I’d have an expansive garden with diverse growth. Herbs, veggies, and fruit if possible. An underground greenhouse would be the bee’s knees. (Sigh). Perchance to dream.

The amount of work needed to maintain a full time garden, doesn’t fit the timeline right now. I’m forced to cater to our few houseplants in the meantime, and instead, continue day dreaming.

In my youth, our neighbors across the street had a garden. We played and ran in the corn rows, had permission to eat the carrots straight from the ground and I could shuck peas with the best of them. I helped the old folks fill buckets with string beans and potatoes. We washed and scrubbed the bountiful yield and were invited to sit and eat homemade stew, with the veggies I helped harvest and prepare. My parents kept a small garden in the back yard and we were active in it’s maintenance. Living next to a local farm and having gardens around our property, and in the friendly neighbor’s yard, gave me a respect for what the Earth can provide. I see the acorn for the tree. I appreciate nature.

Maybe more than some know.

Through my travels, this… crazy, unorthodox personal journey of self discovery, I’ve gravitated towards nature. A magnetism activates in my bloodstream and draws me to what I’ve deemed “special locations.”

One of my favorite spots on this Earth is my front porch. A wonderful panoramic view of the tree strewn horizon, which allows me vibrant colors in the autumn season, a setting sun each night with lavender clouds painted on a blue backdrop and wide open heavens above for stargazing and capturing glimpses, and flickers, of the Northern Lights when they snake across the sky.

I’m pulled towards the ocean to my south and the mountains to my north. If I ever hit the lottery or a super mega millions jackpot someday, I’ll have a small one bedroom villa on the coast and an “A” Frame cottage nestled into the base of my favorite mountain; heated by a wood stove and connected to a generator for emergencies. I’ll have a sailboat to travel the endless coastline, visiting and stopping pier to pier. Engaging in new cultures, experiencing life outside Maine, seeing what I can discover in my travels… but I digress.

For now, I’ll just enjoy the dream and relish in possibility. My dream world is a part of who I am.

Nature holds a special place for me, but I’m not an activist. I don’t protest, or petition. I do however, take advantages of my local environment and absorb it into my being at each chance provided.

For some bizarre reason unknown, I need to touch the sea. I’m compelled to walk barefoot in the cold ocean water, at least up to my shins. Swimming in the ocean off the coast of Maine is a feat of courage. In my forty years, each experience in the sea has left my body numb and shivering, save one time in my youth. Today, I walk the coastline, instead, and avoid the swimming if I can help it.

I’ll jump in for the good of the kiddo’s amusement if need be.

I’ll walk a pier and stare at the beauty around me and do what I can to be in it’s presence, but I prefer warmer waters when it comes to swimming.

I have to feel the wind on my face when driving through the hills. I’m drawn outside during a snowfall and I have to stand on the edge of a cliff and yell into the canyon below, if only to hear it yell back. It’s a necessity to witness the color(s) of the turning leaves, hear the pounding of surf on sand, and be surrounded by all it’s power and majesty.

When visiting a crumbling fortress off the beaten path, or visiting a scenic castle, I have to place my hand on the stone work and touch the history.

In the past, I’ve found solace and peace in these natural, special locations. I’ve visited some of these places numerous times and have named specific “landmarks” for reference.

“Let’s meet up at the Crooked Pier.”

“If I leave first, and we get separated, I’ll head for the Owl Wall. I’ll wait for you.”

“Hit the shops on Cobble Road?”

Personalizing these places, made it mine.

Nancy and I walked Fort Knox, and one of the side yards is now named, Medical Field.

Places that have importance and significance to my personal life, have names, aside from their proper titles.

Over the past six years, these landmarks have become directly responsible for who I’ve become as a person and I have a bunch. There’s personal meaning behind each experience and encounter. Giving them a name is just something I enjoy doing. These locations of importance connect me together like a jigsaw puzzle. Each place has a separate and profound emotion accompanying it, and has been paramount to discovering the seed I had yet to find.

Officer Hulk helped create that seed. It was a starting point for me. A chance to dig my head out of my ass and rediscover what the real world is like. Advice to quit hiding, and fighting life. Tackle the problem head on. Become something better than what I’ve been exposed to. Everything leading up to that night, needed to become ancient history and discarded into that abyss of disregard. I needed a fresh starting line but was confused on the location of the race. A weary traveler with no destination, ready to rock and roll, and no idea how to plant a seed in the soil.

At that moment, I was almost ready to run that race. I was posed and prepared to take off from the starting line and sprint as fast as I could yet I was waiting patiently for the gun to fire. No one was there to pull the trigger.

The seed planted by the magician cop, diverted me back to family. I needed to re-calibrate, slow down life, and think it all through. Water. Shelter. Food. The starting line, is priority.

I love my family and I have a close one. At multiple times through each of our lives, we’ve managed to lean on each other when times were at their worst. Even if nothing more was provided other than a kind voice spoken, or an open ear to listen. I will never regret the path I chose to get to this point.

That night I made the decision to return to family, and coming around a sharp corner, an estimated two thousand feet from the driveway, I hit a patch of fog.

Through the gathering smoky haze, I flipped on my high beams to test my vision restrictions and my heart pounded against my chest when a family of deer jumped across the street. I swerved to the left to miss the herd, cut the wheels to the side, hit the dirt on the shoulder and slid on all four wheels to the opposite side of the road, facing the direction from where I was coming from.

Once I came to a complete stop, and the vehicle stopped shaking side to side, I pulled in a deep gasp realizing I was holding my breath. The deer bounced away as a group and disappeared into the mist, and I shot my attention out the front of the car.

I was face to face and ten feet away from, the Demon Tree.

>>Thank you for reading and following along. If you happen to be new to Tales of the Chronicles, here is the link to the beginning. Please subscribe in the provided area to receive a notification of new posts through email. Please like, share with others, or leave a comment if you wish. See you at the next one.

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