The wagon seems to rolled off and left me in the dust. I stand in the rutted road at a perpetual fork. On the one hand a road of health...muddy, full of potholes, and snakes waiting in the weeds. On the other a road of the easy way - lined with chocolate bricks, edged by cheese mountains: a candy-colored paradise. The colors of the easy way are bright and distracting. They speak in gollum-y whispers. "Waaaaait. There is always tomorrow. Come to the dark side, we have cookies. My preciousssssss."
If, when, no if, I stop to look closely at the easy way path the colors become a little too bright - like an evil queen's apple laced with poison. The hologram of the easy way shimmers a bit as if to remind me it is only an illusion. The end of the easy way path becomes very hard after all.
Still the brightness distracts me. Who doesn't long to frolic in Willy Wonka's factory? One little detour can't hurt me...can it? Except it can, and it does. It wounds me and wraps its claws through my brain - rewiring the system while its up there.
Then time passes and the dust clears and I look up from a mess of wrappers, blinking, trying vaguely to remember what happened and how I got here, again, or if I ever really left at all. And looking up I still stand at that damn fork in the road.
I look off at the wagon tracks that have rolled into the distance, obscuring my recent hope of success. There are friends on that wagon I know. Sometimes I wish I could just get them to slow down a little in their own success so I don't feel so alone at the fork. Or do I just want them to justify a bit more poisoned apple? But I am happy for them and cheer them on from behind, hoping they still hear me way back at the horizon.
And I stand at the fork. Again. For the First Time. Again.
The road to health, following that wagon, is messy. It is icky. It is so much harder than even the last time. Every time I look away it seems to get longer, stretching on for months, years, a lifetime. I never seem to be able to look for very long.
But deep down it is the road that I want to travel: to take each step through the mud and the muck and mire and away from the illusion.
Don't look down, don't look away. Try to forget the candy colored whispers of the other path.
Take a step. One step.
For the first time.
Because Heather said to just write, and my heart needed to remind me today.