by Yvonne Heidt
Sweat runs down between her shoulder blades to pool at the small of her back.
“Almost there!” She says under her breath. Although, she isn’t talking to anyone in particular.
Steps are muffled by several layers of autumn seasons crushed beneath her feet. Fallen logs, sharp branches and stickers pull at her in an attempt to keep her back. Intermittent yips and growls shoot through the canopy of trees. Limbs seem to snap and trip her. She walks on.
She thought of all she had walked through in her time. Decades of living in the dark had left her empty. The demon of addiction had robbed her of a good life, barren of joy. Full of despair, shame and guilt. Living with dereliction and death approaching; she battled the odds to come here.
The road out of Hell is long, twisted and torturous. But, she fought. Oh, how she fought!
Tears stream from her eyes, drawing rivulets through the dirt covering her face. Her hair lifts in a gentle breeze. Peace settles in her chest. A genuine smile splits through the pain. She holds her hands to heaven.
Sunlight poured from the sky. Piercing the canopy with warm rays that shot to the earth. A single butterfly floated in graceful circles in the halo of light. A solitary tree in the center of the circle was lit from within, blazing with impossible shades of green. It was here. She knew she could find it.