Joints popped and creaked as the old woman stood from her stool. The young man who had been listening to her rushed to her side.
She waved him off, leaning on her walking stick. She hobbled to the window of the cabin.
Her laugh lines deepened as she smiled, turning to him. “Now do you understand?”
The young man shifted restlessly on his feet. “Don’t go to the gilded city in the mountains?”
A beat. Another beat.
Then the old woman shook with boisterous laughter.
“No, silly boy.” She tapped the young man on the forehead with her walking stick. “Things always find themselves working out. The journey of that alone is more valuable than whatever destination we have in mind.”
“What did you have in mind?” He blurted, voice cracked. “I mean, did you think this would happen?”
“Oh no, hardly!” She sighed. “In all honesty, I just wanted to live. I contorted myself in such a way that I couldn’t breathe. But it was the only way to survive. But surviving is not living.”
“So you went into the wilderness alone with little provisions. When you could’ve failed?”
“I had to trust in myself. I had to trust in nature. I had to trust that everything will work out.” Her hands tightened around the walking stick. “That trust is what you’ll need more than anything.”
The young man scowled. Another chuckle escaped the old woman’s lips.
“Easier said than done.” She turned back to the window, staring out to the horizon. “But once you can, it’s like finally breathing the sky.”
Thank you for reaching the end of The Runaway series.
Camp Nanowrimo April may be over but the posts will continue.
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