I jogged down my familiar path today. Ashley Jo trotted beside me, chattering happily about her call-backs for musical theater, her curls bouncing beneath her.
I showed her my road.
Her saucer eyes watched me behind her dark, long lashes, a trait I always wished I had acquired.
She waited there, quietly, allowing me to think. She has always done that, ever since she was very, very little.
She told me she would miss me when I left for college, I wrapped my arm around her shoulder and squeezed, remembering my eighth grade year.
"It's like the door in Harry Potter." I began, and her entire being lit, as it always does when I mention anything in relation to the series we spent the majority of our childhood acting out.
"This road is whatever you want it to be." It is, though. It was exactly what I needed it to be.
It was comfort, and a strong, thick trunk, that held my back, while allowing me to stretch my legs out beneath me and lace my running shoes. The black pavement boiled in the summertime, and felt perfect against a sun-burnt cheek. My road holds every secret I have ever felt, it is where I learned to forgive. It was every feeling of insecurity, jealousy, and hate that released its grasp on my mind as I walked, looking up at the blanket of stars above me. It was silence, and the way the lake fell against the city lights at dusk. It was early mornings, and a blanket of green, of protection. The fall brought various shades of burnt oranges, golds, and reds that bled together into one magnificent sunset.
To me, it was strength, it was the quiet moments I so desperately needed after a fight with my parents, after a good, long cry. It was memories, and the way his hand felt in mine as we walked down it together.
Those trees listen, I swear it.
"Be still, and know that I am God."