So many things change as we grow. As a child you come barreling out of the house into your yard which is as large as a football field. The fort you build in the vacant lot next door is your only source of refuge as a ragtag group of survivors is lost in the jungle. The Christmas lights hanging on your ceiling above your bed dance like stars; you open the window to the warm summer air and let Peter Pan take you to Neverland. Before you know it you are living on your own and it's time to pack your trunk of "childish things." You solemnly tuck your wand next to your vial of pixie dust. Lovingly you caress the cloak the elves gave you and cast one last broken glance at the magic that surrounded your life. You stand at the shore of a lake the night as black as pitch. The lake before you reflects the dark that seems to go on for eternity and suddenly you are falling. Drowning in every mistake, every responsibility, every lonely night. Just when it seems it wont end you land softly, embraced by the pine needles that break your fall. Slowly one by one stars begin to fade into view as the sweet smell of evergreens and pumpkin fill your senses. Then a brush of a hand slowly sliding into your own and you are no longer alone. He smiles warmly and hands you an old key. As tears fall down your face you can barely manage to thank him before you start running. Your feet make no sound as you pound through the forest as quickly as possible. Your breath catches as soft moonlight falls into the clearing, illuminating the old trunk. Slowly you step forward, eyes fixated on what you truly thought you had lost. The chest is dusty and much worn from the years; you slide the key home with a click. With trembling hands you lift the lid with a creak and cast your gaze upon all your 'happy thoughts.' Every item, untouched by time, lay just where you left them. Everything seems much smaller but just as magical as the first day you possessed it. A smile spreads across your face and one final tear slides down your cheek as you close the chest and lock it. The man takes your hand and walks with you silently into the forest. You know you will be back to take your treasures out and share them with the stranger. Because of him you hold the key and there will always be magic.
i shall be telling this with a sigh
somewhere ages and ages hence:
two roads diverged in a wood, and i -
i took the one less traveled by,