Learn magic they said. Or at least shore up your paltry skills.
Talk is cheap, and that edict has cost me dearly.
I had a comfortable life, once upon a time. A quiet life. One where I’d carved a realistic niche for myself. No more. Power is seductive, and a bitch of a mistress. Once I pulled the cork out of that bottle, a million genies sallied forth.
None of them were nice. No one offered me three wishes, or any wishes at all. I’ve been working my fanny off for the last two years. Most days, I slog along from dawn to dusk and beyond. Sleep has turned into a distant memory. When I do lie down—or fall on my face, which is what really happens—my mind whirls in circles as I relive the failures du jour.
And the very occasional success.
I am stronger. So much stronger it scares me. My talent sparkles, flowing bright and clean. Soon, I’ll leave the well-hidden spot that’s allowed me time to claim what’s mine.
Whether my crash course in sorcery was wise remains to be seen.
I'm basically a mountaineer at heart. I remember many hours at my desk where my body may have been stuck inside four walls, but my soul was planning yet one more trip to the backcountry. There's a timeless element to the mountains. They feel like old friends as I visit them, and visit them again. There's nothing like standing on a remote pass where I've been before and seeing that the vista is unchanged. Or on an equally remote peak. Mountains are the bones of the world. They'll prevail long after all of us are dust. It feels honest and humbling to share space with them. I hope I'm blessed with many more years to wander the local landscape. The memories are incomparable. They warm me and help me believe there will be something left for our children and their children after them.