The colors had lit up and it wasn’t just because of the afternoon sun. The hill looked different since it had last allowed him to pass over it. He ambled around laughing, smelling the flowers and wondering if the dogs needed to be protected from the serpent he saw sleeping in the bush. The gentle pacific wind swept the leaves off their feet and the grass waved at them in approval. The path waited for him patiently as if in a daze from the hill’s beauty. It was not a day for doubt. The road was clear, flattened by the feet of the walkers, some who had built it, and the many others who had followed them on it. The flowers joined in on the dance, as the wind picked up its song. The shimmering water mirrored the late afternoon sun. Who would not want to walk on this path in heaven, he wondered.
The journey was slow. There was so much to listen to, so much to do. The sun urged him to slow down, breathe and perhaps stay a while. He wanted to stretch himself on the grass and feel the earth cushion him, as he stared at the blue sky to watch the clouds play. But he walked forward wanting to see where the path led. He wanted to reach the top, see everything there was to be seen. He could do anything he wanted, he could even make the mountain ripple away like those waves in the ocean far away.
Climbing to the top he saw that this beauty needed to be guarded. The old bunkers reminded him of what people had fought for so that he could walk this path today. The old cannons lay there silently pointing at the enemy. They told him about the days when war machines adorned the hill sitting on its crown, bringing peace and progress. The dream had been realized, the savage friends and enemies had been calmed and civilized. There was no need for war, just paths to follow.
The mood had changed. The wind boomed and nature quivered. The rhythm although not lost, had been altered. The path was lost but he saw the foot steps of the few who walked away to hear the music once again. He walked over to the edge of the cliff. Danger hung around the edges and the boom barrier warned them that this is not where the path went. But a new path was there and he was on it, wondering if this was the journey he had undertaken.
The small trail that showed itself allowed him to walk around the edge of the hill so that he could face the ocean. The wind silenced him, not ready to hear any arguments. The sinking sun pointed at the hill behind him. The abandoned bunkers were awash with colors, which bled onto the green mountain. Wind picked him up, taking him to a place of quiet. Music played and he saw people join the flowers in the dance. The people in his mind, soaked in sunlight, kicked the colors moving them across the walls of the bunkers. Images formed on the walls and took the shapes he saw painted on the bricks. The hills unable to refuse the music in his ear joined in on the dance. They all danced until the wind brought them back down to the soft dirt.
He was there where he had been before. But the path looked more familiar than ever before. He could see the old trail in the distance but he did not want to find it. This was the path he wanted to be on even if his legs were tired from all the dancing. He climbed down the hill finding his way as he went. Blood warm under his skin oozed from his hands, cut by the stones during the descent. He looked down at himself in the shining blood on his hands. He could see himself more clearly than ever before. Going down the path was not difficult, but making the choice had been.