She yearns for the life ahead of the juniper footprints


Sofia Hargis-Acevedo

A picture I took of a meadow while on a hike with my family.

Vibrant hues of yellow and green intertwine with one another, encircling her wherever she chooses to travel. 

The incandescent light from the sun shines down upon her, emitting a luminous glow to project the path she has yet to take.

Her strides are smooth like she is levitating off the ground, gliding from one foot to the other. Her head is held high, her shoulders are back, and she never once looks behind her to the person she once was.

Flames of amber and royal yellow flow from her hair like a tree in the peak of autumn. Behind her, a trail of juniper and emerald green footprints are left, engraving her past into the concrete for everyone to follow.

She is confident like a lioness in the savannah. She is beautiful like the mountains that cascade along the skyline. She is kind like the soft clouds that shade her from the harsh sun. 

She encompasses the image of the ideal human being.

She faces every plight, predicament, and endeavor head-on. She never fails to emerge from the rubble victorious, without a single scratch on her velvety skin. She leaps into every occasion without hesitation, executing every move flawlessly. 

Her voice is light and airy as if it flies alongside the gentle breeze of a February afternoon.  Speaking with such grace and eloquence, she catches the attention of all who are nearby. 

Rays of deep gold project off of her body, defining her curves only given to a goddess. After adjusting their eyes to the blinding light that she conveys, the humans, the animals, and every insect in her presence becomes utterly enthralled by her youthful—yet indescribably mature—beauty.   

Meanwhile, another version of herself—a mirror image, if you will—somberly follows behind in her juniper footsteps.  

A plethora of hues of grey and blue create a translucent film around her, making only the deep outlines visible of the figures in front of her.

A thick haze settles in front of her, creating a path holding no true destination. She wanders and wanders, just to end up right back where she started. 

Her strides are heavy. Each step weighs her down closer and closer to the ground. Her head sinks in front of her, her shoulders are hunched over, and, on occasion, she is caught looking back, yearning for the naive girl she once was. 

Meanwhile, another version of herself—a mirror image, if you will—somberly follows behind in her juniper footsteps.  

Her feet drag along making a trail of wedgewood blue behind her. The path gets washed away with the tide, leaving no remnants, no memories of the meaningless days she is carrying out. 

She is shy like the sun creeping behind the clouds on a January morning. Her beauty is masked with the solemn expression she constantly wears on her face. She greets people with the hostility only one whose been broken too many times can contain.

She encapsulates the image of the human being everyone dreads to be—the one that everyone keeps hidden.

She faces every extremity, difficult situation, and dilemma with utter reluctance and emerges from the rubble covered in deep scrapes. Scarlet blood drips down her battered skin. She hesitantly steps up to assist in certain occasions, only if she is truly needed. When she is, she makes an abundance of faults, flukes, and flaws, accompanied by the ashamed looks by the people around her.

Her voice is hoarse, like trudging through thick mud for hours on end. When she speaks, she trips over her words, never once catching the attention of the people who could hear her.

Only a mere, dull light projects off of her body, adding to her unflattering physique. The humans, the animals, and every insect in her presence becomes appalled by the negative energy radiating from her skin.

She sighs a heavy, somber sigh and looks ahead to the amber and royal yellow flames lying not too far beyond her reach.

All she wants is to be the girl that she follows in her juniper footprints.