The blissful transition from following a beaten trail to shining light on a new one


Jessie Warren

Allie and me on my favorite chair in November before our daily staff meeting began.

They’ve danced wistfully through these past two years with one another, arms interlocked, feet hitting the concrete in unison.

Together, the two young girls have embarked on a treacherous journey; one that was filled with obstacles, all of which they overcame side by side. There were days that the sun was too timid to peek behind the clouds and shine a light on their rugged path, but that was no problem for them—they were their own lights—their own orbs of energy that reflected off of the thick fog that covered what lay ahead of them.

From the very beginning, they told one another that they would stick together until the very end. Each of them held true to their promise, never once unlocking their arm from the other, never once stepping out of the beat of their feet to the concrete. 

As the two years progressed, they have continued to conquer obstacle after obstacle, roadblock after roadblock. Now, even though they had one another through this journey, they were nowhere near alone. They have closely observed the ones before they take the same rugged path. Each of them would encounter the same obstacles and the same roadblocks, and they all found ways to vanquish them. The two young girls looked up to the ones before them in astonishment. They would plant their feet in the footsteps left behind by those who have already traveled through, hoping that they would emerge victorious, just as their predecessors. 

From the very beginning, they told one another that they would stick together until the very end.”

Along with the ones whose steps the girls hope to retrace, there were the ones who held their hands to guide them through the thick fog. First, it was him. He would spend every day telling them stories, laughing with them, and driving them home in his cozy red minivan. He may not have known this, but he taught the two young girls how to be outgoing, positive, and compassionate. His light projected onto theirs and made the path a little bit clearer.

Unfortunately, there was more in store for him beyond the brown couch at which he sat every afternoon. The girls don’t see him as often, but the memory of his daily presence is still holding their hands through every obstacle, every roadblock.

Then, it was them. They all encapsulated the image of the young women that the girls aspired to become one day. They’ve spent days and nights with the girls, keeping them company, comforting them when the obstacles became too steep and making them smile. They have lifted a burden off the girls’ shoulders with just their companionship, and they have made an imprint on the girls’ lives that will forever be ingrained in their hearts. They have a tight grip on the girls’ hands, guiding them through the final obstacles and roadblocks until the rugged path ends, and the clearing is in eyesight.

The two girls look at each other in disbelief. What they have worked so hard to obtain is right in front of them. Together, arms interlocked, they marched triumphantly towards the clearing and grabbed tightly onto what started as a mere fragment of their imagination.

But what next?

Next, the two young girls will grow up to be young women. They will one day hold the hands of two young people, making their way through the treacherous path that the girls went through so long ago.

From there, they will create their own path; one with untouched soil, and one where their footsteps will be the first.

And we will do it together, arms interlocked, feet hitting the concrete in unison.