I was caught, mesmerized by it. Once I saw it, I could not look away. It was too beautiful, too glorious. Here I was, just hiking along my predetermined path when I saw it, a beauty and a glow that I could not ignore. I saw it gleam through the rocks next to me and when I looked closer, I saw it was a trail seemingly paved with gold, inviting me to follow it further into the depths of this mountain I was on. 

I walked closer to the rocks, all the while my eyes fixed on this magnificent path I had discovered. I saw that the rocks opened up to a cave where I ducked down into and followed the glow of the trail deeper in. Deeper into the mountain this trail went, a steep incline into the earth. The further along I went, I started to become concerned. Should I go back? Should I stop?  But just the thought of leaving this path behind and going back to where I was left an emptiness inside of me. The more I looked at it, the more it pulled me. It was like the rest of my life, all I could imagine was being on this path, being near to this substance of gold and glory. Once I had found it, I couldn’t go back. 

So down I went, with a peace and content inside of me that made no sense to the darkness I plunged myself into. Yes, it was dark around me, but the splendor that illuminated my path drew me forward. I knew that as long as I was near this radiance, I was going to be okay. More than okay, I was fulfilled, content, peaceful. I felt like the me I was supposed to be. 

What substance created this path, I could not tell. Was it a person who leaked it as they walked this path before me? Perhaps? Maybe, it was created, laid out intentionally for people like me to find. That the path was paved with this glory so that many others could find it and follow it. But to where, I was yet to figure out.

The path evened out on a cold and dark ground and as I followed it, it grew narrower and narrowed. The ceilings and walls became lower and closer until soon I was on my hands and knees trying to still follow this path of gold. It grew faint in the dirt below and I put my face closer to ground to see it more clearly. And soon I was in a space so tiny I had to squeeze myself out of it into what seemed a bigger cavern. 

But it was a dark cavern. A big and empty and dark cavern. Where was my trail of glory now? As far as I could tell and feel, the floor below me was dirt. But no glimmer or spark could be seen. I got back on my hands and feet and search the ground as far as I could go. It was nowhere to be found! 

I began to panic—what was I doing following something so unknown into a place so deep and so dark?! I thought back to the feeling I had when I was on that golden path and the same peace washed over me again. No, I wasn’t making it up. There was such an assurance while I was following that trail but now, I was not so sure. Why did it lead here? Perhaps this is where that person before me had gone. Perhaps their walk led them here and something happened to the splendor they carried. Something stopped it from spreading and illuminating the path anymore.

Whatever caused the glory and path to disappear, soon it pushed me into a panic and despair. I started to yell into what I already knew was an empty cavern. 


“Is anyone there? 


I called out, but to no avail. I tried to feel around for walls on and edges to a way out, but I couldn’t even find the walls in this cavern. All I could feel were rocks and boulders and dirt, but no way out. 

Exhausted, I fell to my knees. I cried out some more but the deep abyss said nothing in return. It almost mocked me back, laughing at my hopeless, teasing at how lost I had become. I sat there, on my knees—driven to despair. There was no way I was getting out of here. All because I followed a trail of glory this far, thinking it was going to take me somewhere good. Now it took me somewhere opposite.

I can’t tell you how long it had passed that I remained there in that cavern. It could have been hours or it could have been days. All I knew as I laid there in the dirt, is that I had given up hope of anything coming to get me out. I had resigned myself to my fate of dying there in the dark.

That’s why what came next was more of a shock—the earth began to shake. At first I thought I was imagining it but it grew stronger shakier. Soon the rocks were moving and I could hear them falling as those distant walls fell in on one another. I screamed as I felt the ground beneath me being to crack and I started to run. Where? To anywhere but where I already was. In what direction I ran, I do not know. But as I ran, I shielded my head from falling debris as the cavern ceilings and walls broke apart. “There was no getting out of this,” I thought. “This is where I will die.”

I tripped and fell over a dislodged rock. I tried to get up and slipped again. This time I remained down. What was the use of running anyways I thought to myself as my whole world shook beneath me. I already knew this is was the end. 

That is when it happened. The whole cavern cracked and the wall fell. And what laid before me was the most beautiful thing I had ever laid my eyes on. It was pools and rivers of the glorious gold splendor that led me down here in the first place. What was on my trail was nothing to what I was behold with my eyes before me. 

I got up and walked towards the glory. The cave was dripping in it. Glowing, golden magnificence covering the rocks around it. I got up to the substance and touched my hand on the golden wall next to me and then on the glowing rock besides me. I could not believe that these were the very rocks that had trapped me to my doom, now transformed into my gateway of escape. The rocks felt warm to my touch and my heart sang and my chest hummed. This was where I was meant to me. 

I looked forward and saw a straight upward climb ahead of me, coated in glory. As I looked closer, I saw that is was a direct and immediate path to the top. It wasn’t really a path anymore considering it was a splendor that illuminated the entire way up to the top. It was a magnificence that reached down into your inner core. I look up on the last legs of my journey to what seemingly was my destination. I didn’t know what was up there, but I knew it was good. Better than good if this new pathway was any measure.

Because I had a feeling that what was on the other side was the person who had gone before me, carrying this glory all the way to the top. Waiting for me to follow and do the same. 

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