Two pines, two paths, two mountains, and the one choice that changes the perspective

Hannah Smrcka, Reporter

The two pine trees climbed so high into the sky that was blueberry blue and full of constellations. There was no day or night in the forest. Only blueberry skies and endless stars in all directions.

The two trees seemed to surpass even the clouds while also descending deep into the depths of the green hearty earth below their feet. The trees’ roots might even go for miles underfoot, intertwining and interlocking with all aspects of each other and growing slowly together with age as their roots further combined into a system of trust between all of the surrounding trees in the forest, but the closeness of these two specific trees meant that the connection between them was stronger than their connections to the surrounding forest where all trees were, for the most part, spread apart. 

When walking between the trees, they noticed the connection. It was sturdy to all passing of time. A testament to the forces of nature. Then as they walked further along the trail there was a clearing where some trees seemed to split in half from what may have been lightning, others looked burned and damaged from past fire, but small parts of the dead tree were still green and learning to grow strong again. Most of the pine trees in the clearing were lush and vibrant, thick with needles and pine cones. Yet, the white birch trees’ foliage was thin in this area, unlike the trees of the same that were on the rest of the trail. These trees were missing some of their usual greenery. Though from the clearing, a view of two mountain peaks was visible. The trail split. Each path: congruent to their respected destinations. 

The mountain on the left seemed simple. A tad bit easier to climb. The rocks were soft and the rivers and streams that divided sections were shallow and steady. It was known for its small peaceful atmosphere and having fewer animals. The left mountain was a bit smaller and from the clearing quite beautiful, but this mountain was not the trail the hiker wanted to journey on. The hiker would rather take the mountain to the right, with the jagged rocks, the deep, cold, running streams that cut like glaciers through the larger of the two mountains. For this mountain had the stronger fish and deer that learned to tackle the more difficult terrain of the right mountain that stood strong. The right mountain was known for its adventures and wonders from traveling through the unknowns. 

The right mountain’s distance was also a great deal farther for travel than that of the left. Even though the left was a beautiful mountain, once on the mountain one would find weaker wildflowers and the trees were not bare, but they were thinner and the colors of this mountain were not as vibrant. The hiker knew from stories of each mountain, and stories of mountains like the two in front of them, that even though the right mountain from this point seemed more strenuous and unknown, they knew that the tougher trails were more fulfilling to travel, and in the long term mountains like the right mountain were the ones that made hiking worth hiking. 

Though they still considered the easy paths of the left mountain, to be good at anything one has to be in it for the long haul: has always been found true. 

So they ascended into the great unknowns of the right mountain in the hopes of everything they hoped to find, and things that may pleasantly surprise, in the great lengths of the trails. To work through the obstacles, overcome the challenges, and defeat the distances against all odds would be tough, but this was what the hiker felt would fulfill their goals. 

After traveling the right peak’s trail for a long time, the hikers did find all of the greater beauties that came with the more difficult paths. And they ultimately found a happiness beyond what they ever thought was ever possible to find on any trail. 

Then upon reflection, the hikers also thought of how the two mountains, like the two tall, skyward pines, were instead not connected by closeness in the vicinity, but by their differences in how they both could seem so wonderful while both meaning very different things for the hikers’ travels. The mountains, unlike the trees, had no roots to connect them, but they both were tall in their own rights, and both progressed towards the blue skies.