I stride up the mountain. I slip on the ice, but regain control. My father’s words invade my consciousness. You’re weak. Give up.
I take a step: slow, definitive. This is my new home. The ice won’t win.
I slip again. Regain control.
As dusk beckons, I am bathed in pink, gold, and purple. Butter-colored lights encourage me, shining from homes where hugs, laughter, and dreams abound. Keep going.
I release my inhibitions. Continue on through the cold.
I crest the peak. My cabin, my rustic refuge, comes into view, and Father’s words dissolve into the mountains’ wide silence.