Light streams through the blanket of fog, crowning the forest's leafy canopy with a burning halo. The breeze whispers through the branches, calling to you in an eerie cadence. Perhaps you stood still too long and the world melded and changed around you while you were not aware. In front of you churns a raging river, waiting for you to cross.

You are lost.

Time has flowed by you, restless, transforming itself like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon. Where you stand now bears no resemblance to where you found yourself before. The light drifting through the forest might remind you of the cold light you once faced, but do not be fooled. The light has dispersed into so many scattered pieces that, even if you were to try, you could not find them all. They are gone, lost, and forever a mystery.

Maybe you realize that it has suddenly become dark. Encompassing, forbidden, the darkness hides the secrets that are apparent in the light. And maybe you feel a sort of release, knowing that these secrets will remain locked away, far from those who might be chilled by their revealing promises.

You might have tried to hide these same secrets while they hovered glistening in the light. You may have succeeded. But perhaps there was a hint of yourself left dangling in the air; maybe the shimmering skeletons of those secrets taunt you because they can still be seen. A touch, a whisper, or even the brush of cool lips against your forehead might remind you of what you have lost by resting immobile in the ambiguous twilight.

Do not concern yourself with what has passed. Your choices, withered and forsaken, are no longer yours. You must traverse the tumultuous river or again stand still, watching as life passes you quickly by. And then you might find yourself sprawled carelessly on the riverbank while you wonder where time went.

Perhaps instead of standing still, you search vainly for something you once thought you wanted, desperate to reconstruct the shadows that have disappeared. Those shadows shift like quicksand and will never again be the same. You might think you are close as you pursue their vanishing trails, but it is only a mirage. Like a child seeking soothing water in a land of dust, you see only what you want.

It is your own fault and now you must move on.

Time whirled about your stationary form, bringing changes that may or may not have been foreseen. You cannot expect the world to stand still while you come to a decision. You are only a small part of a continuous landscape that spans a greater distance than you could ever imagine or comprehend. Your thoughts, your dreams, and your wishes may be ingrained on its brilliant canvas, but they only complement and intertwine with the rest.

Face the raging river if you have turned away. The swirling water, like the trails you thought you found once again, is simply an illusion. Your own choices and your own regrets are what must be overcome, not the river leading to a crashing and deadly waterfall as you might have first thought.

Maybe you find now that you are ready. Take that first cautious step into the river. Do not look back. Nothing waits for you in the gloomy forest and now you must go forward, exploring choices and places where you might never have ventured. Breathe deep, drawing cool air into your lungs, and take careful note of the choices that now lie before you. Cross the river and move on, dwelling not at all on what you have left behind.



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