The sun rose slowly over the horizon, a bright ball of fire burning the morning dew off of the canvas tents. All was still in the encampment, the residents therein concealed from the crisp morning air for a few moments longer. They were all eager to start the day, though not before the morning light completely prohibited resting further. Small birds and woodland animals had begun to stir in the valley below; another day’s journey was about to begin.
A lone figure emerged from one of the structures, her short light hair fluttering slightly in the breeze. She moved to the rock where her best friend sat guard; his countenance changed even before she approached, the sound of her footsteps reaching his ears and bringing a smile to his tired face. She ran her hands through his hair and maneuvered onto the rock next to him, leaning into his waiting arms. The male kissed her forehead softly and pulled his spouse-to-be closer to his chest. Neither one moved for what felt like hours; when the noise of a tent opening made them stir, however, the sun was still only half-visible on the edge of their view.
They turned to see another female party member exiting her tent. Reaching into the structure once more, she retrieved her cloak and gathered it around herself as she stepped into the sunlight; it glistened as though thousands of tiny diamonds were sewn into the purple fabric. She approached the tent where her best friend slept and playfully shook the support rods. After a few moments she heard a brief commotion inside, then the groggy dark-skinned face of her companion appeared from within the folds of the canvas. His face brightened immediately when he saw her; still holding the book he had been reading, he rose and embraced the woman he had grown to love more than anything in the world. The two of them advanced toward the rock where their friends sat, and soon all four of them were talking and laughing together.
What truly defines a journey, and how does one qualify an adventure? Stories of struggles and victories wound between the four friends, each couple with a unique story to tell about how they had met. Somehow the very ties that once entangled them now bound them together; though some might call their pasts perilous at best, it was the hardship and struggle of a situation that made it truly become a journey. Adventure is defined not in steps taken, but in the trail they form behind us.
The eldest of the group rose from where he had been sitting in his tent; his hair was disheveled from a restless night, and after taking a swig from his canteen he smiled and looked over at his companions. Each one was different, yet they were blessed to tread the same ground time and time again. Many battles had hardened this group but they could still laugh and cajole as family. It was a mystery which he wasn’t sure he wanted to find the meaning to. Every day he found new reasons to continue, each bond becoming closer through new challenges. His thoughts began to drift to members of the party far away; though the distance between them was lessening, it felt as though the gap would never completely close. So many things had to be said at their next meeting, too much had gone unnoticed or masked by silence over the years.
A small rock interrupted his thoughts; the object sailed harmlessly over his shoulder and his head snapped up to see where it had come from. The second female stood a short distance away, hands planted on her hips in feigned impatience. She grinned and motioned for him to start packing up the camp, and as he looked past her he saw his companions doing the same. He playfully waved her off as he moved to strike his tent. The smile that crossed his face was genuine, though it would not survive the onslaught of memories that promised to haunt him soon. It was a new day, however, and perhaps it would finally bring about the unfulfilled promises of so many prior…