The air is thick and humid and I'm sticky from my own salty sweat. The blackened asphalt beneath my feet seems - at first - to be a brilliant idea. The dirt and rocks have been replaced by a smooth and dustless road and the journey should be easier. Instead my steps are short and quick - my calloused feet - scorched from the summer sun's relentless assault on that blackened, heat absorbing asphalt; and I wonder whose idea it was - the insinuation that it's ever so easy.
There are times I find a cool patch of grass, to cool my blistered feet, to ease my weary body. I scrunch up my toes, digging them deep within the soft earth, trying my best to plant myself within the rich, forgiving soil. The respite is soothing. I enjoy the view from my little piece of greenery for I know - inevitably - that the march of life will continue on. I squint and place a hand over my eyes, a bystander now, watching those few that pass my resting place - looking at me enviously.
I want to raise a hand, summon them over, and share with them this place I have, but I know it's not truly mine to divvy up, nor theirs to accept. We all have our own roads to follow, our own aching feet to rest when it is time to do so. And I refuse to feel guilty about feeling rested, and ready for the road ahead. I deserve this little piece of Eden. I am still stung from the blisters that were raised and wept from the road I walked last year. And this grass it is my salve; and I am healing.
I place a hand over my heart and drum my fingers against my breast. The ache is gone. The fear has left. My son is safe.
Beneath my drumming fingers; however, a lump is felt. But please - I whisper - I want just a little longer upon this grass. Just a moment more to live without the journey, to walk without the scorching heat. I close my eyes and wonder if it is time to step upon the blackened asphalt once more.
Time to journey on these calloused feet, to walk the road whose appearances are deceiving - for the journey is never that easy...