He came over the ridge and viewed the vast wasteland before him. In the distance he could see a single grove of trees, starkly green in the midst of the brown, burned out land. His quest was almost done, his journey to discover answers to the question burning in his mind as much as the sun burned the land he gazed upon. Reaching back in his memory he recalled the first time he heard that voice, a gentle siren’s call. He didn’t understand the words at first, they sounded like a million voices all speaking yet making no sense. His mind swirled as he tried and tried to pick out the message, to hear that one voice. Then it became clear, in a brief moment when he felt as if he were drowning in a sea of noise, he suddenly deciphered the meaning and now it had brought him to this place. Slowly, he gathered up his pack and walking stick, his only companions on this journey and began to head towards those trees. It didn’t seem like a long distance and yet after, what seemed like hours, he felt he was no closer than he was earlier that day. Exhaustion beat down on him, his food and water were getting low and he began to wonder if this was nothing but a mirage. He started getting giddy, he could hear something but couldn’t make it out, suddenly he screamed out, “Where are you?” No answer came only the sound of the wind as it moved through the brown, dead grasses that lay before him. So lonely, he thought, no sound of life, not even the buzzing of flies, just the wind, the sun and the scorched land.
Falling to his knees, dejected, he looked up and suddenly found himself at the edge of the tree line. He looked intently into the grove of trees, the wind rustling the leaves creating a peaceful sound, a lullaby that began to lull him into sleep. Shaking his heavy head, he continued on towards the trees, towards his destination. Would he get the answers he so desperately needed to hear or was this nothing more than just a fantasy born out of fear and desperation? As he neared the edge of the grove he could feel his feet touch softer ground and he no longer heard the crush of the soil but a gentle give of soft, moist ground. Looking intently, he could almost sense the trees beckoning him in, gently waving their branches as if they were inviting him into their presence.
Suddenly, out of the corner of his eye he saw something dash into the grove, or did he, the lack of food and water were playing tricks on his mind. He needed rest, the pack grew heavy on his shoulders, “Wait, what’s that sound,” he thought, it’s a rushing sound, a sound he remembered from his long forgotten past, water, flowing crazily over rocks and cascading over the falls. He rushed further into the grove, every step more urgent than the last, moving so quickly he failed to see her as she stood on the path.