Midway to the middle of my journey of life, I found myself in a windowless room.
In that room, there was work enough to keep me busy as long as my strength would last. There were others passing through for company, though none lingered overlong. There was sustenance, of a sort. And satisfaction... all the satisfaction of building a wall each day and tearing it down the next.
I spent a long time in that room. Long enough that it became a part of me, its boundaries the limit of my thoughts. We'd face each day together, the room and I, knowing that beneath its ceiling there would be no surprises, no challenges, no strain, just the same fluorescent white.
I almost wish that room had been enough for me. But it was not.
And so I dreamed...
I dreamed of places far beyond the room: places where the wind howled like a fifty-man choir, where ice bloomed from the rocks like flowers, where even the smallest of comforts--warmth, shelter, flat ground--was a luxury. I pictured myself against that endless sky, straddling the summit far above the cloud-tops. I felt the grip of the rock in my palm, the crunch of snow beneath my boots, the thin sharp air filling my lungs. Could I make it to the top?
If I worked up to it, perhaps. A summit here, a summit there, each one the highest in their region, yet each progressively higher... from east to west... yes... I could do it, couldn't I?
And by the time I realized the scope of my dream, it had already taken hold of me.