In the dream, I’m hiking a path I’ve hiked many times before, but I’m tired and it’s harder this time. A woman is hiking the same path several yards ahead of me, and she doesn’t seem to be having any trouble. The path gets narrower, and more overgrown, but I was expecting that. Suddenly, up ahead, there are trees cut down in the path, that have never been there before. Not particularly massive trees, but large enough to present formidable obstacles. I was not expecting that. Without making a conscious (or unconscious, since this is a dream) decision to be so, I’m on my hands and knees, knowing I’m pretty much defenseless against any force of nature that decides to take me on. I crawl towards the trees laying across the path. The woman ahead of me strides over them, head held high, and I wonder how she’s doing it, because by the time I reach them, I’m almost entirely flat on my stomach, doing an army crawl. As I pull myself up over the first tree in a sort of roll, I look up and there’s this balcony of sorts in the trees, and people are watching. They’re all telling me how much easier it would be if I was on my feet, like the woman who went through before me; and I know that, but no matter how hard I try, I can’t get back on my feet. And a little voice says, “You’ve just got to keep crawling.” I find I can do that, so that’s what I do. I pull and roll and army crawl over those trees in the path until eventually it’s just foliage again. The woman who was ahead of me is out of sight now, as is the balcony and the people in it. It’s just me and the path. I crawl on until I’m almost to the end of the path, and then, as suddenly as I was on my hands and knees, I find the strength to pull myself up and walk. I’m not particularly graceful, but I’m on my feet again, and I finish on my feet, but somehow … Somehow, I know if I had finished crawling, it would have been fine. I would have finished. But now I know that even with where I am on the path right now, I get back on my feet further down the line.
Last Night’s Dream