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Boundaries
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TITLE (EDIT)
Boundaries
DESCRIPTION
It is only natural that we would seek out and discover the borders of our kingdom, for a kingdom it is, and each of us its proud king or queen.
[1,178 words]
TITLE KEYWORD
Relationships
AUTHOR
Stormy
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
-
[August 2004]
AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (4)
A New Beginning (Poetry) A poem about a very misunderstood man. [188 words] [Relationships]
Good As Gold (Short Stories) Getting good grades in high school shouldn't have been a bad thing. [2,359 words] [Relationships]
Just Me (Short Stories) The story of a little girl home from the hospital. You would think her parents would be happy to see her, wouldn't you? [888 words] [Biography]
Of Peppermints And White Knights (Short Stories) I took my first drink at age 10. [2,179 words] [Biography]
Boundaries
Stormy

"The woods are lovely, dark and deep ..."

That one line keeps running through my head as I walk along the barely visible pine needle covered path on this quiet summer morning. I shake my head, frustrated that I can only remember one line of the poem. For an English minor, this is pitiful.

It is only natural that we would seek out and discover the borders of our kingdom, for a kingdom it is, and each of us its proud king or queen. My kingdom stretches as far as my legs can carry me, and when I get the urge, I often set out to discover just how far that really is.

"The woods are lovely, dark and deep ..."

But not dark enough to keep me from enjoying the rising sun. Sweat drips down my forehead to slip under the frame of my sunglasses and collect in small pools on my nose. Itís going to be a hot day.

I used set out on these walks to get away, to leave it all behind. But I am discovering that when I leave it all behind, what I have left is nothing. Sometimes nothing can be a good thing. Everyone needs a little nothing, every now and then. No pressures, no deadlines, no swirling emotions. There is just you. But after awhile, you get tired of yourself. The peace and isolation begins to wear thin and you discover that leaving it all behind isnít what you need after all. My trouble is, I have no idea what I seek any more. So I just keep walking. Not to leave it all behind so much, more to see whatís up ahead and how far I can really go before something or someone stops me. Deep inside, I believe there are no boundaries.

"The woods are lovely, dark and deep ..."

The line continues to run through my head, the melody of the next line just beyond my reach.
The trees in these woods are massive hemlocks, close and towering and very old. Beneath them, life abounds, some four footed, some feathered but mostly, six legged and biting. I swat at a mosquito as it lands on my arm.

I stop for a moment and let my eyes slowly pan across the landscape before me, the wilderness of uncut forest and the purity of an undisturbed, clear lake. It is quiet, as usual. A little eerie, as usual. All mine, as usual. This is my kingdom.
 
I am about to head down a familiar path when a break in a thicket of ferns catches my attention. A path, just barely visible, stretches back father into the enchanted woods. It appears to have been made by deer or other woodsy creatures. For some reason, they have decided to vary their routine. I think for a moment, or perhaps longer than that. It is hard to tell for time has no meaning in the woods. There is only day and night and I can see no signs of night approaching. I will take the path.

I widen the break in the ferns as I trample more of them to the ground. They will forgive me as the forest holds no grudges against those whose only motive is personal exploration.

"The woods are lovely, dark and deep ..."

Although I have been wandering these same woods for many years, a new path is always a new adventure. I would like to think that I am the first human to set foot upon this tranquil ground, but always I see signs that others have been here before me - a rusted can, a shotgun shell, a plastic bottle cap. I am not the pioneer I imagine.

The path widens and the trees spread out as if to welcome me. A gentle breeze cools my hot face and the leaves rustle softly. I feel a certain magic emanating from the trees. My feet quietly tread the forest floor where the softest moss spreads a carpet, golden rod and wild grasses flourish in spots of sunlight, wild berries cluster, and pale mushrooms grow at the base of fallen trees surrounded by rocks and tangled vines. This path presents many distractions and it is hard to know what to look at. Secrets seem to lurk everywhere.

I continue on, happy with this newfound excursion. These woods seem to stretch forever and I decide I will see this journey to its end. This journey will be different. Perhaps at the end of this path, I will find what my heart has been looking for.

And just as I am enjoying this expedition into the unknown, it all comes to a sudden and disappointing end. The trees up ahead have been defaced with omens which make me shiver despite the summer heat. No Trespassing signs have been nailed into the tender hides of the majestic guardians of the forest. An entire angry row of them, ugly and foreboding.

The sun darts behind a cloud and I notice the woods are harshly quiet. I step up to the signs and see something else that makes my skin crawl. Barb wire has been strung through the trees and across my chosen path. Someone has placed a boundary in my kingdom.

I imagine myself ignoring the signs, stepping over the jagged, rusty wire as if it was nothing more than a fallen branch and continuing on my way. I am so far back in these woods who would ever know? But beyond the repugnant signs and twisted wire I see even more signs. Someone does not want me in these woods. The fantasy journey beginning to form in my mind loses its shape in the real world. I have reached an impasse.

"The woods are lovely, dark and deep ..."

I had dared to dream of an adventure to humble all adventures. I had envisioned, without really being aware of the meaning of my dream, a world that had no limits. And now hideous squares of plastic and angry coiled wire have stolen it from me; for no matter how much I desire to trespass and continue, I will not violate the law. The signs have been tacked here for a reason, and I will obey them. These are the laws of my kingdom.
 
ďBut I have promises to keep . . .Ē

There is a certain thrill that comes with being somewhere youíre not supposed to be. About being alone in that quiet, somber construct of someone else's life. I carry the thought of this thrill with me as I turn around and head back towards what is safe and familiar. All is not lost.

I memorize my surroundings and look for landmarks. The journey was a pleasant one if nothing else, and I will return, every so often, to check the signs and monitor the health of the trees. Life has taught me that just when you think you know your boundaries, everything changes. The signs may someday fade and fall; the wire will rust and crumble if neglected. Only then will I continue the journey.

ďBut I have promises to keep . . .Ē

 

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COPYRIGHT NOTICE
© 2004 Stormy
STORYMANIA PUBLICATION DATE
August 2004
NUMBER OF TIMES TITLE VIEWED
1629
 

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