A shiver racked her body as she woke. It was still so cold. So damp. The rain still hadn’t let up. It fell from the sky like a bucket being poured over the grass. Each rain drop splashing off of every leaf, twig and rock before settling into the dirt. She sat up and pulled her knees to her chest and rested her chin. How long had she been asleep? Was she ever going to make it home? Was she ever going to see that light again? How could it just disappear like that? More importantly how could it just leave her here? Anger bubbled in her chest before she picked her head up and glared into the woods. Bitter. Frustrated.
How could it do that to her? Then…the anger started to cease. She couldn’t be angry at it. The light didn’t make her follow. She chose to follow it. It was her decision to come here. With a sigh she rested her head once more. It wasn’t worth getting upset over. She was here. Now it was up to her to find the light again. As if someone turned the volume on the stereo down the rain quieted. Rain drops continued to work their way down the leaves and branches but no additional drops were falling from the sky. This was her chance. With a groan she climbed out from the tree trunk, shielding her eyes from the cloudy sky. No sun, but at least the rain had given up for now. She winced as she put some weight onto her ankle. She was still hurt. She looked around the forest, turning in every direction. Was it still waiting for her?
She took a step forward and immediately regretted it, leaning against a tree for support. Then she saw it. The small orb of light peeking out from behind a tree in the distance. It waited? All this time it waited for her? Then it raced off down a path, disappearing again.
“No! Wait!” She called out after it. With a new found strength she hurried after it, limping after it as best as she could. Her breaths were heavy as she forced herself to continue after it. She was determined to follow it this time. Ankle hurt or not, this light was the most important thing to her right now. The small orb raced along the forest floor and up a hill where it hovered, waiting for her. It seemed to look back at her and say, “Are you coming?” She huffed a breath and started to carefully make her way up the slight slope. When she made it to the top the light hovered next to her, not racing away this time. She tried to catch her breath, looking at the light.
“Why did you run from me…? What are you..?” The light flew around her, swirling through her legs until it settled next to her again. It seemed to gesture to what waited in the distance. A sight more beautiful than anything she’d ever seen in her entire life. A crystal lake. Something she had no idea was here. The trees surrounding the lake were reflecting like a mirror in the water. Tears slid down her cheeks and she wiped at them, trying to take everything in. Beauty was overwhelming. When she looked back to the light…it was gone. Her chest rose and fell, worrying again that she’d lost it. She tried to catch her breath when she looked into the distance and saw the small orb floating a ways out. More tears filled her eyes. She reached out to it but it was out of her grasp now. “Wait, please…I need you. Please don’t leave me.”
The light seemed to smile. It didn’t have a face but somehow she could feel it. It hovered towards her and disappeared into her chest. She let out a gasp of air and her hand flew to her chest. She could feel the light inside her and it seemed to say, “I’m right here. Always.”
All of her pain seemed to dissipate. All of her exhaustion from this journey lifted. She smiled. She never needed to chase the light. She never needed to find this lake. It was with her always. It inspired her always. It kept her safe always. It was never lost and it never would be again.