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Day Nine

 

Sky Lake

I am safe! It has been seven days since my last journal entry. Sky Lake village is behind me now, finally. The people there were kind and helpful but warned me that the road ahead was dangerous. They talked me into staying the night. And then another night. And then another and another. Before I knew it, I was getting comfortable, making friends, thinking about setting up shop. I don’t know what woke me up to what was happening, but thank the Creator, something did. Without saying a word to anyone, I grabbed my backpack and snuck out of town.

Sky Lake is still on my right. I peer into it’s sky-blue water at what appears to be clouds and am mezmerized. Oh my! That’s what happened to me! I was staring into the water when my mind grew fuzzy! Someone came along and suggested a nap. It was such a lovely day! One day melted into another there. Then today, I was staring into the water again and someone came along and asked me where I was going! That’s what woke me up! I remembered that I was going somewhere far beyond Sky Lake.

I can’t. I can’t look into these waters anymore. I must push on. Did I even remember to get food for my journey? Well, at least I should fill my canteen with water. I’m so sleepy. I’ll get some water and then take a nap. It’s such a lovely day.

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Day Two

Shallow stream lined with large, smooth, rounded rocks. Daylight glows on the water's surface. Ripples give away the current's presence. Dark green ferns and vines threaten to encroach but seem afraid to disturb the scene and so appear to be peaking over the stones, thirstily reaching for the water and the light's reflection. Stream and stone curve from sight into a dark forest where no light penetrates.

I am tired. The water from this stream has refreshed my courage, but has done nothing for my old bones. I am seated on a smooth stone with my feet dangling in the cold spring water. They are growing blessedly numb. My stomach rails at me, angry that with all the things I thought to put in my backpack, food was not one them. But, I will quiet its complaints soon enough. I think I see some berries around that bend in the stream. Something red there, anyway.

It was a good day, is a good day. It’s more frightening than I thought it would be, leaving home with no one waiting for me at a predetermined destination. Isn’t it strange that I can sit in my cottage, just past the edge of the little village I have known my whole life, with my feet tucked beneath me, my journal in hand, make plans for the adventure of my life and convince myself that I can do it? I started out this day, my first day of leaving civilization behind, believing that spending the night on the ground, alone, wherever I got tired, would be fine. It is only now that I realize how unprepared I was and am.

Yesterday, I got a late start. My feet were hurting when I got up but I forged ahead. Because of the pain, I walked so slowly that I didn’t even reach the edge of town – the other side from where I live, until sunset…I don’t know why I chose that direction other than wanting to see what was going on in town. Thankfully, and perhaps sadly, I was worn out by the time I made it that far, so I just stayed the night at the inn. Felt like cheating for a moment. But then it dawned on me that there are no rules to this journey except for the ones I make up. Well? Is this not the whole point, or at least a good portion of it, for this adventure?

Two things have occurred to me just now; 1) My name and home in case I lose my journal or am found unconscious; I am Merlina of Willowvale. 2) I believe I am procrastinating, writing more than necessary as if I must have an excuse to rest. I have been walking for about 7 hours. I deserve a break. Wait a minute! I do not need an excuse or to defend myself to anyone, let alone myself!

I wonder how much I will change as time goes on, assuming I survive.

I am still on familiar ground. I know the town of Sky Lake is on the other side of this forest, where this very stream emerges from the woods, actually. I could make it there before sun down if I hurry. My feet are feeling better. The swelling has gone down. Ok, stomach, we will go back out to the road and take the easy way to town, have a stout dinner and rent a room for the night.

One last thing, should the distance prove beyond my ability.

To whomever finds this journal and these old bones: rest assured, I died doing what I wanted, breaking free of patterns and habits and rules, on a quest to find the truth; am I the princess in my mother’s bedtime stories or was there never a paradise called Camelittle?

Day One

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It has begun. I am anxious and excited. I suspect that I lack the ability to comprehend the journey ahead but I have chosen this path and will follow it to the end or to death, whichever comes first. I am leaving the comforts of home, my favorite reading chair, my lamp that keeps the darkness at bay; not just the fading light of day, but the darkness of my mind. My sketch pad must stay behind, its pages almost full of crude drawings of plants, creatures and characters that I may have drawn from memory. I have never seen their like where I live now, where I have spent the last 70 years of my life. My precious Fluffsterd, the lion I raised from an orphaned cub whose life only exists now in the picture on my wall and the rapidly fading reel in my memory. I am the only one left alive that knew him.

Gone. They are all gone. Mother, father, Fluffsterd, Jessiter, Hagit, Paje, among many others. I have outlived them all. No friends or family left, so what does it matter what lies ahead as there is nothing left behind. All I am leaving here amounts to physical comfort. Ha! My body hurts in so many places, every moment of every day, that comfort is strictly a relative term. There is nothing left for me here…funny I should be saying these words today. I have heard others say them throughout my life and wondered what they could mean. As a child, even as a young adult, I could not understand the depth of that statement, but now, nearing 80, I think there are no truer words in my vocabulary: There is nothing left for me…here.