My feet always take me there, if I let them. To a time when darkness was kind and friendships still true. My mind wanders a bit and I wake to find myself on that familiar path. A road I have traveled at all hours and in all weathers. Memories of bursting green summer, bittersweet fall, bleak grey winter frosted with snow, and the newborn yellow spring. Memories of thunderstorms, of violet lightning splitting the firmament overhead. Of heavy rain and tempting mud puddles.

Remembered confidences and jokes litter the ground like rotten leaves.

The path is always muddy, as wood chips sink into the mud, rather than absorb it. My feet follow their own route, unbeknownst to my waking mind.

The bridge is there, grey with age and the grime of travelers. Multitudes have carved their names into its frail rails, leaving behind a part of themselves. I never desecrated it that way. My memories last without reminders.

Late winter afternoons ring with yells and laughter, spring nights, walks with friends, safe and warm, summer stories exchanged under trees, sitting on the bridge in silence, watching the moon and the mist on fall nights, worrying about the future in hushed tones. Listening to the water, the frogs, the birds, the insects.

Those times are gone. My mind cries out that people suck, and my heart agrees. My feet still go there, taking me along. I sit and ponder all those 'what ifs' that I normally struggle to suppress, I hurt, but I still trust. Still hope. My feet remind me that they know the path. The old ways are still there; that I may yet find old friends again.