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Published:June 23rd, 2012 09:59 EST
A Quest

A Quest

By Ed Roberts

A Quest

I drove my car for hours
Away from the city
Alone

I stopped at a road-side picnic area
Parked the car
I placed my wallet
And my cell phone in the glove box
Left my jacket in the front seat
Locked the car
And placed the key in my pocket

I started my journey
Like a child
In search of an unknown treasure
About twenty yards from my car
I took my first step
Into the woods

I followed a small stream
Up the mountainside
Followed it for over a mile
I found its very birthplace
Where the water first came out of the rocks
I scooped up several handfuls
And drank from the purity of its birth
And once again
Continued my climb

About an hour later
I reached the edge of the tree line
Nothing lay ahead of me
But rocks
I spent a few moments plotting my path
And slowly
With my cane in hand
I began to climb

Thankfully the path was not too challenging
There were times where I did stop
And pondered stopping
Or simply turning around
But the child in me kept pushing
Demanding that I finish my quest
And about four hours after the journey began
I finally reached the top
I remember there was a large rock
Upon which rested a rattlesnake
He had to have been over six feet long
I looked at him for a moment
And I imagine
In his own way
He looked at me

He slowly slithered off the rock
Into the safety of his burrow
And I
Short of breath
Sat down on the rock
To rest

After a few minutes
I stood up upon this rock
And looked around me
On all sides
I was surrounded
By nothing but trees
A few glimpses of water
And other mountains
That beckoned me in a silent voice
To come and experience them
As well

I stood there for over an hour
Smothered in silence
Filled with awe

And in this time
It came to me
Behind I had left my family
Who soon would be worrying where I had gone
In my car
I had left my wallet
And my cell phone
My only real way to reach out for help
If anything had gone wrong

As the air started to cool
I missed my jacket
That I had left
Laying on the front seat

And it had been over an hour
Since I had my taste
Of that wonderful water

In this single moment
I realized
I had become one
One with so many
Who live upon this small planet

I stood there
Thirsty
Hungry
Without shelter
And vulnerable
Open to any and all things
Without a chance of possible rescue
Not at least
For hours anyway

I fell to my knees
And thanked God
For this lesson

I had started this journey
Like a child
Filled with dreams and expectations

I came down from the mountain
A man
A man on a mission
One that I have tried to continue
And will do so
As long as I am allowed

I hope all of those who read this
Find their way
To their own mountain
And are given a chance
To fully understand
What it is
They will find there

For once more people
Are able to glimpse the oneness
That can be found only there
Can we can begin to become
One single
Human
And humane
Race

Ed Roberts