My valley

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My Valley

My never ending valley sways. The grass constantly moving softly in the warm gentle breeze that I summoned with a quiet thought. I stayed underneath the only thing in the valley. A tall ancient willow tree. With long branches that wave in tune with the grass. Everything in sync. Its leaves so tall that they create an enclosure, a wall impenetrable that still allows a clear view of the valley outside. I lay with my knees bent to one side, my green sundress flaring at my knees. Above me the golden sunshine comes through in elegant rays. All impossibly warm, and somehow soft. This ancient tree is my protector; watching over me and my valley with a calm, wise gaze. Here, I feel safe, all my troubles swept away from my mind with every sway of the branches. All the tension and stress eroded away from my bones and muscles with each blow of the warm wind. I am a part of the valley itself. Blending in with the silky grass in my dress. My golden brown hair playfully tickling at my cheeks and waist. Stretching my fingers to absorb more sun when I heard a rustle behind me. The tree whispering to me who stands outside. I shift to my back and turn my cheek onto the warm ground that prickles me gently. Behind the tall shifting leaves is a tall figure, wearing a simple pair of jeans with a gray t-shirt. His black hair glowing in the sun. I admire him. His green eyes, like my grass, his long legs like the tall branches, and his clean bare feet that only my dirt allows them to be that way. I tell the tree to part its branches to let him in with an internal command. Obeying, the leaves sway making a gap as big as him. As he steps through, the tree closes the opening, ever my protector. My eyes follow him as he walks gently to me. He stops, pausing, and then lies down at my side. His cheek coming to rest on the dirt so close to my own. Smiling, he moves his rough hand to rest against mine, waiting. A smile forms on my lips; I intertwine my fingers in his.

“Seth, you came” I whispered softly, my smile growing wider in pleasure.

“I came to ask you to come with me” he said with a small resolve.

“You know I-”

“You can’t stay here forever” he interrupted, meeting my eyes with his hopeful ones. My eyebrows crinkle, I could stay forever, in my perfect place, in my safe place. But never to go anywhere, to never see outside. To lose Seth, the only one my valley ever allowed to come here. The only one I had ever loved enough to consider leaving. I let my mind drift as he silently laid there, watching, but allowing me the time it took to answer. I didn’t use words; instead I leaned over and touched my lips to his. He responded, his strong arms wrapping around my waist and pulling me closer. Knowing this was goodbye. His lips sent through me a soft tingle. I pulled back. Our faces close enough for our noses to touch. We were breathing hard. I wanted nothing more than to close the distance between us again, but if I did I would never be able to let him go. He shifted onto his back but kept a firm hold on my hand. I lay there, my turn to watch him this time. Who knows how long we stayed that way, it was always sunny in my valley, unable to turn dark. Finally he let my hand go. Making my fingers grow cold over the loss. But were instantly warmed up again by the soft rays coming through the branches above. He got up and started to walk away slowly, as if every step were painful. When he reached the branches I sat up, my long hair cascading over my shoulders. With one last longing look at me, he turned and left my enclosure. I felt a wet, perfect tear fall over my cheek onto the grass. Where it was absorbed and turned into a beautiful pink flower that looked like a teardrop heart. I got up quickly and came to stand before the branches, always protecting. They were not here to create a prison but a safe haven. Only there because I chose to stay. I could see Seth’s tall figure nearing the end of my valley. I took one reluctant step forward, then another. Entering the strong branches. I kept going, every step taking its toll on my heart. It was hard to leave the only place where I had ever felt loved in. The only place where I had no worries. The branches brushed lovingly at my sides, begging me to stay. I had created this place and when I left so would it. The last place it would exist would be in my heart and mind. The leaves gently tugging at my hair. Until I breached the last layer and came to stand outside. The sun shined bright in my eyes, the grass swayed against my ankles for the first time. The wind rustled my hair, detangling it from the tree, my tree. I took my first step forward. Feeling my dress flare at my knees happily in the gust. The branches were still reaching toward me, but this time their leaves brushed against my cheeks softly, not tugging. More like pushing me forward, encouraging me. This is what I wanted, and so they would let me go, reluctantly. I took another step forward and they gave me one last gentle push, almost as if to say goodbye. The sad thought touched my mind like a feather, falling softly and then settling, kicking my brain into gear. I lifted my arm slowly and spread my fingers in the sun. Reaching to where Seth’s lone figure was becoming smaller by the second.

“Stop” My whisper stilled all around me. The soft noise of the wind stopped, the grass no longer tickling my ankles, the tree stood quietly. My one word carrying through my valley to reach his ears on the other side. I saw his faraway figure stand motionless. I took another step and another, each one faster than the last. Finally I was running on my bare feet away from all that I had known, all that I had created. My hair flowing behind me and my dress fluttering to keep up. His figure became larger and larger until I could see every detail of him. His smile stretching to his ears. I leapt into his outstretched arms. My valley disappeared that day; my soul taking it back in, so that when I was ready to leave my new world I could return. If I had stayed I never would have felt all of the stress, hardship, or pain. But if I hadn’t left I wouldn’t have felt all of the love, joy, and happiness that comes with stepping out of the comfort zone.

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