The Lake was in there for as long as I can remember – big and dark blue, contrasted by the green of surrounding trees. Its sapphire edge turned dark azure towards the centre.
The Lake was quiet. It was a place of perfect stillness, a place I visited to calm down and to be alone with my thoughts. The night welcomed me with the myriads of stars, seldom with a big moon. I’d sit there, examining the polished surface; thinking of the endless opportunities of my inner world, distant like the stars above, but seemingly close, like their reflections. The stars were so close, I only needed to reach down and snatch a handful of them from the icy water.
The rim of my little world ended with mountains. A vast nothingness stretched past them, a barren land with no features for miles to go. The little worlds of other people lied somewhere there, distant and unreachable. We shared the same sky though. Same sky and same stars.
The waterfall ruined the stillness and quietness. The background noise of rushing water came and never left since; the sound echoed from the mountains surrounding my hideout on the shore. The waterfall fed the Lake, and the excess water rushed downstream, into the plains.
This new addition to my inner world became a grand place to relax; the rocky alcove behind the rushing water protected me from the wind. I washed my body and spent the early hours of the night resting on the mossy rocks.
I had endless roads to walk, numerous possibilities to dive into. Unconstrained and unbound, the whole world was within my grasp. I looked into the Lake, and the wolf within me stared back. It was alert, ears focused, its brown-reddish eyes stared deep into mine, burning into my soul.
That wolf was me.
That wolf was free.
Free from the prejudice, from complex moralities, from obligations and debts.
The wolf looked into the night sky. It never had to pick any road, it went with the wind. The wolf could traverse the mountain paths, cross the barren wasteland, get to any place where it desired to go.
I examined my reflection. My fluffy ears, pointy nose and dark eyes. As I reached down, the lock of my hair fell from my shoulder and touched the water, sending a small ripple.
In one smooth motion, I scooped a handful of stars. Possibilities that shined so far. Roads that I couldn’t decide between.
I saw my hair brightening up, the faint glow surrounded my face.
I didn’t need the stars to guide me. I made my own paths. I was a wolf.