So you have come to a crossroads in the forest.
This crossroads has more than two roads to choose from, and all of them look relatively exciting, but bring a whole lot of challenges and unknowns.
A couple of these roads have fallen trees across them, and land mines, that you’ve had to navigate through. One road looks completely impassable.
But is it?
You try to make the very best decision you can but there is little room for error, and possibly, no turning back. So you think long, and, hard, and you catch yourself holding your breath and forgetting to breathe.
Sometimes this is how I picture myself, in a fairy tale, at a crossroads. Like a story book. The scenery is beautiful. There is a lot of loss, and hurt, and sadness, but also a prince, and forest creatures, and trees that whisper secrets gently on the wind.
I am standing there at my crossroads, in my princess dress. It’s violet colored, and hooded. It’s well worn, and it’s been torn several times. My hair underneath my hood is a complete mess, not having fixed or resecured my loose braid in days. I haven’t had the time.
A single tear rolls down my cheek. Beside me are my dogs. Three small dogs on one side, and two big, white, Centurian’s are sitting calmly to my right. Some of these roads are way too dark and scary, the one I want to take, the familiar one, looks impassable to the naked eye. I am tired and weak, and, I must admit, weary. I sit down on the ground, in the middle of the road, and my dress becomes damp immediately, but I do not care.
My pack moves in closer to me, for comfort. For security. For familiarity. For love.
It’s dusk, and the Partridge are roosting in the trees for the evening. The Owls are coming out to hunt, and the coyotes are yipping in the distance. Just getting started.
This land speaks to me in ways I cannot explain. It speaks to my soul.
Some people find that hard to understand, and I know some people still exist that believe I could not possibly value this land for anything other than value.
All land and real estate has value. It’s not as much as you usually think, and not all value is monetary.
It’s hard to access, expensive to maintain, dangerous to live on because it’s physically difficult to access. It needs a lot of work and repairs and finishing. It’s not a mansion, and the land is not prime farm land and the hills are not shining with gold.
But it has value.
It’s value to me is not monetarily though and never has been.
This forest has always spoken to me in a way that is magical, that makes me feel like no where else on earth could ever be a proper home for me.
The exact same way it spoke to Kevin, and he knew it. He saw it.
It would be financially better for me to leave – I could buy a nicer farm, a nicer house, a bigger house, I could still buy land. Different land, but I’d be able to buy something. Something easier to maintain, easier to access – closer to hospitals, with less up keep and not a mile of lane way to try and keep open in the winter. It would be financially and physically better in a lot of ways for me to actually leave, probably.
Choose one of those easy roads, that has no debris scattered all over it. A new adventure.
But yet I want to stay, for as long as I can – because I cannot predict the future… because this is my home. I don’t own this farm, I don’t own this land. I don’t believe this is possible. We cannot own nature. I am just grateful for any time I am able to stay here and take nourishment from this place. For all the years it’s given me so much, and so many memories.
And to me, it’s not time to leave our forest haven.
My dream lives on here. And so does Kevin, through me. I know that.
But unfortunately that doesn’t make it so. The challenges are not to be underestimated. I may give up, or give in. Or I may remember Kevin’s words every single time he corrected me when I said something was impossible. He would say nothing is impossible if you want it badly enough.
If you want it badly enough, you’ll make the way.
He told me that a million times, easily. Then give examples. And several times, proved himself right.
But I’m not sure I’m strong enough, that I am brave enough, that I have the resources, or that I’ll even be allowed. Sadly some decisions do not only rest in your hands alone. Other factors are always at place in the background. Some silently, some non stop shouting.
I realize at once that none of these roads will lead us to safety before morning. So right now, I cannot make any decisions that will ensure our safety anyway. Even if I wanted to. And I do want to. I want to make a decision, and I want to continue with this journey. I’m ready. I’ll never have enough rest, so I just need to get started, to keep going.
But for now, for tonight again, we’ll stay here together. Me and my pack. My family. We’ll keep each other safe, and warm, and in the morning, we’ll wake at dawn.
Then, after I open my sleepy eyes to the forest singing and humming all around me, I’ll take another, closer, look at each of these roads.
And I’ll make sure that the impassable one
Isn’t just an illusion, and truly is. Before I step away from it forever.