She kept running till it was dark. Finding her way out of this dark forest, she dint know how she got trapped in the first place. Life seemed so simple at first. It was a series of happenings, she recalled. Being scared wasn’t her thing but she just had to be out of this place. It gave her creeps, shivers down her spine. At times, sadness prevailed over any other emotion of hers. She was clueless, frightened, and on top of everything else, ‘vulnerable’. The trees surrounding her were enormous, with stem as thick as a wall, she couldn’t see the other side till she actually walked around them. When she looked high up at the branches, they were way out of her reach, making it impossible to get those delicious looking fruits. ‘It’s certainly an apple.’ She thought. ‘But how do I go up?’ Thinking of various ways, she dint give up easily and tried to climb several times.
Soon, she realized it was dawn. With every thin layer of light coming in tearing the denseness, it gave her nothing but hope. Hope to find her way. Hope to be able to live freely, without any struggle. Hope to see her family again. And so, she began walking. Perhaps, food wasn’t her need at that time, which is why she stopped trying to climb the huge tree. Her glistening white frock had become shabby, her golden hair perfectly made into a pleat had loosened up. She lost quite a lot of weight, walking for several days, but she knew somewhere deep within, ‘I’m close to my destination, just one more step’. With that attitude, Samara certainly dint lose even a tinge of brightness on her face. She looked as lit up as ever. This young lady of only seventeen years of age, dint find this forest frightening at all. A place where even the adults would freak out, she had the courage to survive and go on and on. Her muscles were getting weaker, but it dint stop her. One fine night, when she laid peacefully in the arms of cotton seeds appearing to make a comfortable blanket for her, she dreamt of all the good things she had experienced in life. She dreamt of her mother singing lullabies to her when she was just three. Her father bringing all kinds of candies just to make her happy. She rode the entire town on her tiny orange bicycle early in the morning, just to get a whiff of that fresh breeze in the mountains. Her heart was lit up with happiness, peace and kindness for others.
Suddenly, she woke up to realize, the forest wasn’t that dense after all. The sun rays were directly approaching her face and the thick beam made her see the beauty of it all at last. She stood up and walked a few steps further to find out, there was no dense forest at all when she turned around. Just like that, it occurred to her. Life isn’t as complicated as we see or rather believe it to be. It’s just the way we put it in our minds. An image of beliefs and nothing but beliefs whether acquired by the people around us or on our own, it is actually what we make it ourselves. The ‘lens’ through which we create our own realities, is adjustable. She recalled her father telling her, ‘Don’t go near that forest. It’s got lots of carnivores who will eat you up and nobody would ever know where you went.’ Then, she saw the forest behind her. The one she had just crossed. What may seem like several days, were only a few minutes. It hadn’t been even an hour that she got lost in this forest. Yet, here she was, not even a single part of her body was harmed. The belief of her father is what made her scared a bit in the first place, but not anymore. She understood one thing which many of us don’t understand even after taking an entire lifetime.
The truth is, ‘No matter how many fears or anxiety we attach to one particular situation, our mind will never prove us wrong. So, if we believe that the world out there is only harsh and ready to prey upon us, we’ll only come across such people.’ Just as Samara had ‘Hope’ to see her family back, and to have dreamt it made it possible for her to go back. She had realized indeed that it was only a ‘dense, dark and devious’ forest because her father told her so.
She was free of such beliefs and with the guidance from the sunlight, she went back home to have some homemade cinnamon bread and tea made by her mother.