Where I live is on the edge of a forest.
I walk through it, feeling small beside the tall, straight gums. But they do something important for me: they remind me to use them for their greatest power. Air. Up here, and in there, I can breathe. Really breathe.
Often the path through is wide and open. I can see the sky and the light pours its way through, showing a clear, straight path ahead.
Sometimes it's narrow, closed in and dark. The path twists and turns, and I can't see where I'm headed.
It whispers to me. Breathe.
There are times I stumble over tree roots or fallen branches. Things happen in here that are beyond our control; we just have to keep walking through the obstacles.
The trees sway and whisper in a chorus. Air.
I write things on this blog that I don't really talk about. Which is funny, because a lot of the people I'm close to read this.
When I sit alone, things come into my head that I need to clear.
In a conversation, those things won't come up. When someone asks how my holiday was, I'll say 'Good, thanks' and I'll share some funny moments. I won't say, 'Well, there was this time I had an anxiety attack...' It's not a secret, just a conversation stopper.
When people ask me, 'How are you?' I answer the usual: 'Very well, thanks'. Because it's true.
Life is good right now. I'd probably struggle to think of a time when it's been better - and by that I mean clearer, brighter and so promising.
There are just a few little obstacles, as life always throws in. These unspoken things make up part of my world, and how I deal with them says a lot about where I am. How I am.
When I'm walking, a clear, wide path is easy. But I love scrambling over the natural obstacles: fallen trees, rocks, hills - it's interesting and shows me I can meet a challenge.
There is one constant: the air up here is nearly always fresh and clear. When things are in my path, I take a deep breath and meet them face on.
Just like I always have, and always will.