I looked around blinking in the pitch dark trying to work out where i was. I seemed to be on a path, it was cold and full of painful brambles but i didn't notice these at first as i stumbled around in the darkness. Then i became aware of the cold and the pain as i took a step along the path. I fell over and got completely tangled up in the painful brambles and struggled and struggled to free myself and get back on my feet. I felt so cold and each little step was so hard and painful i wondered if i could go on, i just wanted to lie down and give up it was just too hard. I felt so alone and so scared, then i began to feel angry that i was on this path and the pain was too much as i hit out at the painful brambles surrounding me. I was so confused i didn't know how i got on this horrible path and when it would end, when could i get away from this path?
Just then i heard a sound and realised that i was not alone on this painful horrible path. I called out releived that i wasn't alone, quite a few people answered, they were all on the same horrible path, all struggling with each painful step. I reached out my hand and felt another person who reached out htere hand to hold mine, i reached out my other hand and again a hand reached out to hold mine. We kept walking along the path each step so painful, we would fall often but those by our sides would help us up again. It was good to know i wasn't alone, it was still so painful but i had support to keep going.
Then we heard voices of people who sounded like they were ahead of us on the path, we called out to them and they answered us, we could not see that far ahead it was still dark but we could hear them. They told us they had been walking the same path, they said as they had got further up the path it had got easier, there were less painful brambles and they fell over less but that when they did there were still hands to pull them up. It was lighter and they had begun to see where they were and to make sense of things around them. The ground was still boggy and each step was still a struggle but some parts of the path were getting easier and they didn't feel as scared or confused and a warmth was beggining to penetrate through the coldness.
They said they had been ready to give up until they found hands to hold and it was those hands that kept them going and kept picking them up. They spoke of other people who were further up the path than them who said that the ground had got easier and firmer and each step was no longer such a struggle, they no longer fell very often but still found hands there when they needed some help. The painful brambles were now few and far between. It was fully light now and warmth came to soothe thier bodies. They could see clearly where they were and begun to see other paths that they could take. They knew that which ever path they attempted to take and try that those hands would still be there to hold them up if the going got tough.
Although you are at the start of a very painful path you will not be walking alone, although you can see no further than your feet in the darkness of where you are now i will walk with you all the way. Don't walk alone. Hold my hand.
(c) Baz Busbe