You purse your lips, curl your tongue, draw the chilled night air deep in your lungs, and blow the air out. The high pitched tune breaks the silence enveloping you, joining the sounds of your feet striking the ground in a lonely orchestra of you in the wilderness traveling an abandoned path. It’s dark, and the dark is alive and hungry. You can’t see the things skulking alongside and behind you, and more frightening, the phantoms ahead of you.
You continue to whistle your song, maybe its a favorite hymn from a damaged faith you cling to, a song that highlights the ideal day, or just a nameless ditty you are making up as you move through the mist. The unknown stalks you and your eyes search for something substantial or defined, a threshold to step over to save you from the preternatural grasping at your back. You whistle louder, keeping the gooseflesh from knowing why it is there.
Your feet strike the ground, one step after another, each quicker than the last. The oxygen for whistling waivers as you labor to find the way from this dark world where ghosts are real, and demons can hurt you. The song begins to lose its rhythm and structure. Sound wheezes out of your lips as your stroll in the night begins to grow into a jog. Your chest burns as the chill of the air and extra exertion steals your breath. You don’t know what, but you know something is closing in as your song begins to lose its tune.
You force yourself to hum the song that you can’t keep up in a whistle. Security, safety, and a familiar warm place are your only desire. To insulate yourself in the embrace of knowing what waits for you, what expectations you know can be fulfilled, what faces you can count on for kind countenance, what dreams are safe and attainable, to be off the sidewalk in the witching hour in front of the cemetery on a foggy, biting October night.
This is the walk we all take, you, I, others when we dare to face the future with an unfamiliar goal. The dreamers are so often whistling in the dark with only spirits to hear our song, but whistle, we must to keep the darkness at bay, and continue to our goal, lest we turn around and return to the place we started. Whistle away, walk into the hungry night, be afraid but have heart, there is a new place as the moon gives way to the breaking dawn, and the mists unravel in its light. The path is fraught with invisible peril, but the walk is worth it.