the hunger in the pines.
When you think of fear,
what do you see?
Do you see a hunter wolf,
stalking in the dark pines around your camp?
It whispers cowardice.
You push it deeper into the forest
when you notice it in the gleam of the flames.
You stoke the campfire,
built by the will of your own hands,
radiating its glow deep into the woods.
Fueled with naught but experience and awareness,
it sends back the hunter against the mountain wall.
Perhaps you feel a cold;
the dead cold that is written in the hardened script
of those who braved the desolate North a century past.
A cold that freezes your spit to the air,
and settles indifferently into your bones
should you sit alone within it for too long.
What do you know of fear?
You see a growing shadow,
a stalking ghost,
that would instill in you such terror
as to ravenously destroy your rations
and call from its haunt the forgotten creature
- its crude mask of wood and wisdom -
Light a torch from your fire and expose the wolf,
to see a sage bound by its own wilderness.
Move steadily through the cold,
feel the warmth of your burning blood,
and adhere to the reality of that bitter frost.
The wolf has lived with the cold far longer than you.
Listen to its yearning to live,
for fear is not a hunger in the pines,
but the bellowing of survival.