Yesterday, she dived into the ocean, past the swirling waves and into the calm beneath. The coral reef was a vivid burst of color blooming under her and when she twisted around, she could see brilliant rays of light splintering in the waves. Sea grass waved cheerfully up at her and the sunlight made a flowing pattern on the sand. With all these different types of coral jutting up from the bed and streams of fish following each other between them, the reef looked just like a metropolis of a different kind. With a push of her legs and a swing of her arms she swam deeper, right through a huge school of fish. In the moment that it took them to separate around her, the world became a flash of silvery light and bubbles.
But that was only yesterday. The day before, she climbed to the top of the world. The wind rushed around her with such force, she had to grab the rock ledge behind her for fear of being blown off the peak. The snow whirled around her in crazy directions and the wind sounded like some otherworldly beast howling in her ear. Although she couldn’t see it through the flurry, she was painfully conscious of the precipice looming a couple yards in front of her, a straight drop down past rocky lodges and snow banks. Finally, the wind died down and the snow cleared just enough for the world to change from murky gray to dazzling sunlight. She sucked in a breath at the view, sharp peaks and stunning drops down into canyons draped in shadows.
And the week before that, she trekked through the desert, hot sun driving down like a hammer on her back and the wind blowing gritty sand across her face. The weight of her backpack seemed to drive her feet deeper into the sand and the wooden walking stick wasn’t helping such much as chafing the skin of her palms. Hardening her jaw, she made one last huge effort and finally crested the top of the dune. The sunlight, impossibly, beat down even harder on her cheeks and she stood blinking for a moment. She endured a moment of disbelief as she stared across the widening vista of dunes and all the miles she still had yet to travel. Shrugging her backpack higher up on her shoulders, she took a deep breath and then the next step.
And then she closed the book and reached for another one.