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July 7th, 2019
Lucilius took a seat on a large boulder to look back on the progress he’d made, but a haze of grey erased his view. Low clouds had rolled into the valley, covering the tremendous distance he’d walked over the past several days. The ground, now rocky and gravel merely faded a few hundred feet below where Lucilius sat.
He drank from a canteen and watched as the cloud rose higher, and higher. The summit he was trekking towards was still another half a day away, and the rising cloud would make night fall quicker. He capped his canteen and turned to continue on and find a good place to make camp.
The white mist rose up around him, making all the ground around him fade out towards nothing but white. He kept his eyes to the ground just before him, watching his boots take step after step. He paused to look around, seeing nothing, but knowing the way from the slope. He continued on, watching each step, one after another. Time began to blur into a single moment, repeating, over and over. With the cloud blocking his view, his whole sense of the situation narrowed, and he began to wonder if he was indeed trapped in a loop of some kind. He kept on, noticing his breath in rhythm with the march of his step, and below the breath he began to sense the beat of his heart, all of it in a slow roll, repeating. Where many might find the trudge boring, Lucilius found himself falling into a sort of trance, meditating on the gift of a simple moment that seemed to repeat with no novelty. Each time his mind wandered off to some distant worry or wonder, he quickly saw his boots again and the whole moment rolled him once more and again.
As the light of day began to fade, Lucilius finally decided to make camp. Pleasantly tired from the long day, he decided to skip dinner and go straight to sleep, making a cocoon of his sleeping bag.
The next morning, when Lucilius awoke, he opened his tent to find that the clouds from the night before had vanished and he was surprised to find that he’d camped nearly on the summit.
He looked back down the mountain and down into the valley, amazed how all those blind steps had added up.
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