I used to think of growth like a ladder.
Rung by rung, I climbed. I couldn’t see
The ground, nor could I see the peak.
If it’s lonely at the top, what was I feeling?

My arms and legs grew tired. The pressure
Formed blisters on my hands, unable to bear
The surmounting weight of all that I carried.
The callouses reached inward, ever deepening,

Always expanding. But still, I climbed higher and
Higher, ignoring the emptiness growing inside.
I was afraid, of that I am certain; I just couldn't
Remember why. When did my ascension begin?

And where was I going,
My bootstraps tied neatly into gallows?
And with that thought,
My ladder toppled and fell. And I fell too.

To my surprise, I landed standing,
Ladder perfectly laid over a chasm of opportunity;
Many others stood across the gap,
Staring expectantly at the bridge before them.

They crossed toward me, arm in arm. We walked
Together, hand in hand. We met others whose
Ladders had fallen. We used the wood for
A fire, and we sang around the flames.

For the first time, we were all present.
We saw the stars, oceans, valleys.
And, as if for the very first time,
We saw each other too.

That’s where the journey ended.
Nowhere and everywhere, all at once.