Along this road, I can hear the "what if's".

October 5th, 2013, 8am

The sun struggled in this moment. The wind did not. The green leaves along this path are slowly giving way, and the woods here are only days away from the full-on fiery hues of autumn. Right in this moment, I have only a few minutes before the kids arrive for the day I have planned for them. Here I will try to gather, settle myself. The air moves as a slight breeze in the trees around me, but it is enough to make them speak.

When the leaves rustle and whisper like this, I sometimes tell the kids if they listen really hard they can hear the forest telling them a story, and sometimes they believe me. I love the moments when they do. It makes me want to keep on. This being able to spark a moment of wonder is why I am out here, far away from the office and beautiful degrees in lovely frames on the “brilliant white” painted wall, where I used to live.

Then there are the odd stories I sometimes believe. I don’t want to believe some of them, believe me. The “what if” stories are the worst. They hurt. When I read them aloud in my mind, I feel as though I have just fallen into the dark pit they have opened up in my gut. I know you know. They are widely published around the world, in every country and culture, in any language or dialect. “What if you fail?” What if you really can’t do this?” They feel more like declaratives than questions at their wicked worst.

Right here, looking out along this path in the Rouge, I will do as I say and listen for the other stories wafting about my head in the valley air. And they are good.

Lia, Tracey, Andrew, ankel and 5 others said thanks.

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Mark Yearwood

Can a man remake his life? In the woods, no less? I am trying.

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