It was one of those fall days, the time of the year when the chill in the gentle breeze, as it touches the skin, makes you shiver. At the same time the golden rays of the October sun hit your face and take away the cold, leaving behind a feeling of warmth that soon settles down deep in your heart. It has this amazing effect of uplifting your mood. The only side effects of this otherwise perfect weather is a sudden lack of concentration and an uncontrollable smile on your face.
As he made his way to his destination on that morning, he decided to walk a route he had never taken before. For the past twenty years, day after day, he had walked the same dusty road. He could walk the road blindfolded and avoid all the potholes. A hundred people took that road everyday and yet no one had bothered to repair those ditches. Over the years, he had become friends with many a passers-by, people he would greet with a smile each morning and evening. Maybe it was these familiar faces - making the present feel easy and secure or those sweet childhood memories of running down the road with his dad - a way of keeping the past alive, that prevented him from walking a different road. Whatever it was, he had never had a reason to change his course.
Only today did a thought tinker in his head - he wanted to stray away from his usual course. A road took off from the one he walked everyday. There was no particular reason why he had stayed away from this path. It was one of those many things in your life you don't think about. In his head, that road just wasn't meant to be taken everyday, and maybe thats why it looked so appealing this Saturday morning. It seemed to lead in a different direction, and he wasn't sure how many people strayed that way. He had no idea where it lead, but even in this age of technology he didn't want to track his course. He wanted it to be a surprise, the adventurer in him suddenly wide awake. He wanted to explore the trail, lined on both sides with trees that seemed to reach the sky. Moreover, it was difficult to deny the invitation of those fiery red hues on the ground.
Mind made up, he changed his course and as he stepped on the ground, the crunch of the leaves beneath his foot broke into his heart. He could feel the layers peeling off. The morning haze at a distance prevented him from seeing far into the distance. But he didn't mind, there was a lot to survey in his proximity. Every sense in his lean body was indulged in taking in the surroundings and his heart was busy assimilating it.
No artist could have ever done justice to the brilliant colors in the trees. Sun rays were trying to break through the canopy above him, lighting up the path golden. He would have the image in his mind forever. Something about the place made him feel cozy and at peace. The restlessness of his everyday life had lifted. He did not realize when his walk turned into a jog. He looked from side to side, something exciting him no end, and yet his eyes could only see the never ending lines of trees. As he walked on his heart beat started rising, as if he was onto discovering something big. With the pounding in his heart in sync with his footsteps, he started running. There was no knowing where he was headed, how long the road was and what might stop him in his way. He just ran, without any care. He knew if this was to the end now, even if he never ran again, he would be a content man. The untouched leaves told him he was the first one this season to take this road, and he was grinning from ear to ear. He just ran, and ran, and ran.
The smile on his face was still intact when he reached his destination. And all he did was kneel down on the dewy grass and cry.