The dark locks of my hair fall over my closed eyelids and tickle my cheeks, obscuring the details of a hazy dream. The hair is whipped back from my forehead and my eyes peep through inebriated eyelids. A cool breeze greets me back from my somnolent trip.
But as I try to plant my feet on the hard ground of reality, my heart flutters and tries to swoop across the urban landscape and towards the steep inclines of rugged green hills and snowy peaks, carried by the soothing wind. The jagged outlines of mountains begin to draw themselves on the horizon as a steel solid resolve warms up the adrenaline and steals the sleep from my eyes.
Dried up rust-colored leaves get swept away from the hiking trail towards the foggy face of an adjacent hillside shrouded with vegetation and reverberating with the shrill sound of crickets. My heart skips a beat. I pause my laboring feet and hold the straps of my rucksack. I close my eyes and take a long, deep breath. The smell of wet moss and muddy earth permeates my nostrils.
My eyes flutter and limbs shift about inside my sleeping bag. The wind creeps in from under a loose flap of the tent gate owing to a tent mate having scrambled out for the sunshine. My cheeks become cool and the back of my neck shivers as it kisses my skin wholeheartedly.
As I stand at the edge of a cliff surrounded by a phenomenal view of numerous mountains poking their heads through tufts of punctured clouds, I struggle to keep my balance as the wind approaches me here too, trying to sweep me off my feet. All my emotions surge up in one wave inside my throat, as I feel an immense gratitude towards everyone who has shaped my life. The wind lends me wings, and I feel free.
In this stuffy and risk-prone atmosphere created by COVID-19, the occasional cool breeze seems like a message or a reminder for me to look toward the mountains and never forget to appreciate all the people helping to keep me alive.