A CALL TO THE WILD
There she stood at the edge of the trees.
Evening had begun to settle in and to the west, the sun made its daily journey below the horizon.
The sky was flooded with the vast colors of red, orange, yellow and purple. It was at this time that the people of the village would return to the safety of their homes, start their evening routines, and settle into the comfort of their beds.
But there was one who had not joined them yet.
A young woman, tall, with olive green eyes and the skin the shade of rich copper. She stood there at the border of the forest, staring at the thicket and listening to the sounds that echoed throughout the darkness.
She had grown up listening to stories about the woods. The children would gather around the fire and listen carefully as the old men told in detail about the untold dangers that lied beyond the border of the trees.
They spoke of hungry wolves, and wild men and sleeping bears that, when awakened, stood as tall as mountains and whose roars quaked like thunder.
They spoke of sinister shadows, and walking ghosts, and evil spirits that lived within the hollows and knots of the trees.
They spoke of the ones who had ventured into the untamed lands. The ones who had sought adventure. And the ones who had never returned home.
She had been warned her entire life to stay clear of the trees. To never go past the edge of the forest and to never venture further than the boundary that had been set by the village leaders.
It was safe in the village they said and it was better for her to forget about the unsettled lands that sat to the west. It was better to never wonder about what lied beyond. It was better if she never left.
But as the years went by and the daily routines of the village continued, she found herself looking more and more frequently at the snow covered mountains and the thick trees that stood in the distance.
She couldn’t help but wonder and dream of what kind of place lied beyond the borders. What kind of people, what kind of animals, what kind of undiscovered world was out there.
Despite the many voices of warning, there was another voice that spoke to her in secret. This voice spoke of adventure, relished the thought of danger, and smiled at the idea of venturing into the wild.
With that voice came a longing and with that longing came a cry from her heart. This cry kept her up at night. This cry outweighed the fear that had been instilled in her as a child and was louder than any of the warnings of danger. It pressed her to forget everything she had been instructed to do and seek out the unknown that laid beyond the comfort of her home. And as the years went by, as the cry became louder and the aching of her heart grew, it became harder and harder to ignore. And then she knew.
She couldn’t remain where she was. She couldn’t be who she had always been. She couldn’t continue to be who they wanted her to be.
She had been born for something more. Something greater. Something beautiful, wild, and untamed.
Suddenly, a gust of wind blew past her and entered the forest. It weaved through the branches and headed west as if pointing in the direction that she was to go.
It was then that she heard the howling of a wolf. She looked up and frantically searched the trees as it echoed all around. It wasn’t long before she spotted the beast, strong, and fierce and clothed in a mixture of black and gray fur. He made no advancement towards her; only stared at her with amber colored eyes.
She locked eyes with the wolf who showed no signs of aggression nor any attempt to attack her.
Where most would run in fear she surprisingly remained calm at the border of the trees. Though she couldn’t explain it, she knew that the wolf and his howl were not a warning to turn back but an invitation.
In that moment, with the wolf staring and the wind blowing, she knew she had to choose.
Return to the life she had always known, suppress the longing in her soul, silence the cry of her heart or answer the call.
A call that many had ignored over the years.
A call that many had been presented but rejected.
A call to explore. A call to adventure.
A call to the wild.