At the Top: In which you are now safe

One day, maybe after many years, you reach the top of the mountain and can finally rest. As you stop your running feet and wipe the sweat from your eyes, you can for the first time catch your breath. There’s no danger here. It’s just you and the cool wind, the soft grass, and nothing lurking just out of sight. You’ve reached the place you were aiming at for so long; now you can revel in the relief of having arrived.

At the top, you can look back down the hill and across the valley below where you’ve come from and from a safe distance survey all that was once a deadly threat. The rocks that tripped your step, the tangled branches that blocked your way, the wolf eyes that continually hunted you through the darkness are now blocked by the wall of time – they’re in your past, you’re in your present, and nothing can join the two.

So with the dangers far below and the instinct to flee now unneeded, you bring back your gaze from the bottom and take a look around. Below, the trees grew so closely together you had to constantly tear at branches and fight with roots to get by. At the top, there is flat, broad space. Below, the air was thick and sometimes putrid. At the top, it is fresh and gentle. Below, you had to kill other living, sprinting things for food to stay alive. At the top, fruits and vegetables naturally come up from the ground at the right time. Below, there was only wildness, peril, running, hiding, escaping. At the top, there is ordered nature, calm, steady breathing, sleep.

Here, at the top of the mountain, you can finally make your home.

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