Saturday, July 12th. The day was warm and humid, the dense clouds only serving to make for a very steamy day. It was going to storm. I could smell the approaching rain and felt the heaviness that always seems to announce the fury that is about be unleashed; the calm before the storm.
My head was pounding and I could hear a loud buzzing that seemed to be coming from the center of my brain. I remember mentally going over everything in my head; things that I wanted to do, things that needed to be done. It was hard to focus through the pain and noise in my head, but I could feel the sense of urgency that settled like a wet blanket over the room. I began to wonder if it was I who was generating these feelings of urgency. Did anyone else feel it or was it my imagination playing tricks on me. No, they felt it. Maybe more than I did. The looks on their faces were that of a deer caught in the headlights: that of surprise and shock. That puzzled me. They all knew it was coming, they just didn’t know when. Neither did I, for that matter. But it was close, very close. I could feel it.
The first crack of thunder announced the storms arrival and the blinding flash of light pierced through my closed eyelids. The rain began, slow at first then growing steadily until all that could I could hear was the steady hissing of the rain and the buzzing in my head. A sudden clap of thunder rolled across the countryside, causing me to open my eyes just as the accompanying flash lit up the area outside my window. The entire area lit up, revealing the grounds that surrounded the building and extended all the way to the wooded areas and beyond. I don’t know what hurt worse, the deafening roar or the bright flash that followed.
Once again, that sense of urgency washed over me, just like the rain that washed over everything out there in that storm. But not like the one that was raging inside my head. That was different.
I closed my eyes. I was tired. More than I had ever felt before. The pain in my head continued to worsen with every breath I took. I resigned myself to the task of doing what must be done, whatever that was, and forced myself to push back the pain and try to ignore that damned buzzing.
Outside, the storm continued to rage as I took the first steps, ignoring everything that was taking place around me. I was now, as they say, in a world of my own.
I began walking slowly toward the road, at first unsure of what direction I should travel in when suddenly a great flash of light pierced my eyes. I hesitated for a moment, waiting for my eyes to adjust once again. Another flash lit the area and it was then that I saw the path that cut into the woods. If not for that brief flash of light, I would have missed it completely. But there it was right before me. How could I have missed it? I walked slowly at first, entering the path and letting the surrounding foliage envelope me. As I walked on, the surrounding trees and plant life grew denser with each step until it was if I were in some sort of tunnel. Something ahead caught my eye. With great effort I focused ahead to what at first appeared to be a small white dot, brighter than anything I had ever seen before. What is that, I thought? Reaching up, I swiped my hand across my eyes, wiping away the rain. I looked again and realized that it was some sort of distant light: the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.
It was then that I realized what I must do. I began walking toward that distant light, slowly at first, ignoring the storm that raged all around me. The feeling of urgency returned and began to grow with each step I took, drawing me ever closer to the light. The light had become my goal. I must reach that light; I began to walk faster.
With the rain coming down, my surroundings began to blend together making it appear as though I were walking through a tunnel. Yes, a tunnel, that’s it, and there it was, the light at the end of the tunnel. All that mattered was that distant bright light and I knew that what I sought was within it.
I continued on for what seemed like hours and still the tunnel stretched out before me, seeming to go on forever. Just how long I had been walking, I had no way of knowing. Time seemed to come to a standstill in that tunnel. It had no meaning here. But it stretched out before me, and that light…. it was beckoning to me, drawing me ever closer and still the tunnel seemed to stretch on forever.
But what was I to do once I reached my destination? For that matter, why was it so important to reach that light, assuming that I would actually reach it. A feeling of uncertainty suddenly washed over me, mixed with that nagging, ever growing sense of urgency, I pushed it all to the back of my brain and tried to concentrate on the goal at hand. The light. I must reach that light.