With the World on Either Side

By Marina Campoy-Lavasco (’23)

I walked on the very edge of the clouds. Where it rains on one side and it shines on the other. I walked that fine line between the blue raindrops and yellow sunshine. I guess that would make where I walked green. I greeted the people pelted by rain and the people burnt by the sun. Sometimes, when I needed a drink, I walked over to the side where it rains and tilted my head back until water leaked over the sides of my mouth. I filled like a balloon with water and would have most certainly floated away had my shoes not weighed me down. I continued my stroll along the winding, dizzying paths. Not many people passed me by, in fact I think it was a good couple of years before I had to say excuse me to an old woman walking down the road. I had not talked to anyone for some time by that point, and I attempted to greet her. The old woman looked at me with youthful eyes, and the words that had formed in my mouth dissipated. She ran a hand through her curly locks of gray hair and stuck out her right hand. I took it into my own and shaked it fervorously. She smiled, patted my face and began walking again. I waited momentarily and in the shadows her silhouette looked like my own, but I soon collected myself and ran to catch up. We walked in silence for at least a decade before she turned to me one day and said goodbye. I blinked and felt her presence leave my side. I continued onwards. The path grew rugged with roots stretching out to grab me at the ankles. There was no one. The old woman was gone, the land ahead bare. Not even the birds greeted me with their calls. I walked with my shoulders slumped and wandered, without intending to, into the rain. I became drenched, my hair sticking to my face and my clothes clinging to my body. And then I laughed a long time. I laughed at the old woman who never spoke and I laughed at myself. Because she and I were alike. Where on earth were we walking to?  So long our feet had traversed the land, and what good had it done? What had I done? My whole life I had not veered more than a few feet from the trail, so I ran into the sun and I shimmered like a diamond. I shined so brightly that I blinded myself and tripped over one of the roots along the path. In the darkness, a feeling of calm came over me. I got up and wiped the light from my eyes. I jumped up and down until my shoes went flying off and I began to float. I flew upwards like a balloon, high above the land. I circled the Earth and then the Moon and all the stars. And then I wound up back on Earth, but there was no rain cloud and the sun had set. I could not find the path I had tread, but I had no want at all to do so because life has many roads, and I had only walked along one.  

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