Wanderlust by Dana Li

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Photo courtesy of Rebecca

Won’t you come, and walk these rugged roads with me?

We can drive that beat-up van through stretches of golden cornfield, dappled with dying sunlight, listening to the tired hum of the engine and wondering breathlessly when it will sputter and give out. Dusk descends and the crickets come alive with their calls—a song to the last embers of summer, a mournful goodbye to a lover.

A crack and sizzle snap the rhythm of the nighttime harmonies and the engine is gone. But this is where the real adventure begins. This is the part, in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, where they sail past the Lone Islands, and there are no more maps, no more plans, only dreams. This is the part where the thrill of uncertainty sets into our bones the way deep crimsons and oranges have inked themselves into autumn leaves.

We’ll wade through the knee-high grass and weeds, run until we collapse, and sing old songs under the unfurled scroll of stars. And miles and miles later, we’ll find an airport and buy two one-way tickets to see the mountains of the world.

Thousands of feet off the ground, we’ll find another sort of sea, lost in the white tumble of clouds blending with snow. Sweating and bleeding from cuts, shivering from icy gales. Lightheaded with euphoria. Barely breathing from the thinness of the air. The taste of Death and Heaven both suddenly too close, but not the taste of fear—we threw it off the steep slopes on the way up, listened to its shrill shriek swallowed by the winds.

Won’t you come, and walk these rugged roads with me?

We can cut across red deserts and ancient pyramids and the city of kings. Press the soles of our shoes against the hot sands and stones that once touched the feet of a God. Fishermen may still be casting their nets. Beneath hails of gunfire and the terror of modern warfare, men may still be teaching about a kingdom that does not fade. Souls passing from death into life.

Snaking through the knot of bodies, we’ll watch a foreign city come alive with night-lights and signs we don’t understand. Voices fly past us in strange languages and bands play on the street corner with makeshift instruments. Dancers step to the beat, and the bloom of bright dresses decorate the evening.

When we grow weary of the people scenes, we’ll find our way back into the solitude of nature. We can pitch tents under the northern lights and stay up waiting for the skies to sweep us into their performance of color and ecstasy. Then we’ll bravely whisper our secrets into the silence because we remember once again how small are even our greatest regrets and heartbreaks.

And at the end of it all, we’ll find ourselves sitting in a familiar, favorite café, speaking once again of the inconsequential—the office joke and the latte art. But I’ll have seen some of your soul, and you mine. For away from Home, we lose and find ourselves.

Come, and walk these rugged roads with me.

 

 

 

 

 

Dana Li is pursuing an M.S. in Management Science & Engineering at Stanford University. Despite cultivating her career in technology, she has always been a lover of stories, reading and writing voraciously in her spare time. She loves good fantasy/sci-fi, classy cuisines, and roller coasters (but not all at once). She blogs about literature and life at penandfire.com.

 

Rebecca is 20 years old and lives in a little village in Germany. She started taking photos six years ago when her dad got a camera for his birthday. It was fascinating for her to see what different things he was able to capture — emotions, plants, animals — and she wanted to try it herself. The best part of photography for her is that she can express her feelings and tell stories through it, and she hopes that people feel something when they look at them. See more of her work on Flickr.

Dana Li
Dana Li is pursuing an M.S. in Management Science & Engineering at Stanford University. Despite cultivating her career in technology, she has always been a lover of stories, reading and writing voraciously in her spare time. She loves good fantasy/sci-fi, classy cuisines, and roller coasters (but not all at once). She blogs about literature and life at penandfire.com.

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