The dampness invaded her consciousness, its chill pulling her from pleasant thoughts. Puzzled, she looked around, taking in the changes to her surroundings.
When did it become so foggy? While thin, the fog’s misty fingers were strong enough to penetrate her clothes, causing a slight shiver to tremble through her. Attempting to recapture some of the warmth that had fled in the mist’s presence, she wrapped her arms tightly around her body as she continued to survey her location.
Where had the sunshine disappeared? Ah, that was it! Thickly entwining branches were to blame for the lack of golden light. At the beginning of the trail, the trees were sparse, creating a frail covering that let plenty of sunshine through to dapple the walkway while shading her from the sun’s full intensity. Here, the trees pressed closely together as if conspiring to deny entrance to any friendly ray of light.
The path that had beckoned with alluring promise of light-hearted adventure no longer seemed appealing. A faint sense of dread crept over her. Although this was the first time she had followed this trail, she felt like she had been here before. The dim light, the damp chill, the gloomy atmosphere, the feeling of complete isolation - she was familiar with them all. But how? What had triggered this nagging sense of déjà vu?
Understanding dawned, and she realized that this path - this gloomy, unfriendly, cheerless place - accurately pictured the depression she had battled for so long. This physical place was the perfect metaphor for the mental state to which she had been captive for so long.
She turned and started retracing her steps, thankful that although she might at times find herself walking down dark paths, she knew how to escape the gloom, both physical and mental. Never again would she be fooled into believing that the darkly seductive thoughts were all she could expect from life, all that she deserved. She was meant to dance in the sunshine - happy, joyful, and free.