taking time

I figured the most difficult part
would be the hike up the mountain
after a two-month forced absence
navigating that steady incline
on only one hour of sleep
for that view of the county
bathed in early morning light
and it was
for me
for her
it was the descent
in her cousin’s shoes
down the newly surfaced trail
with its fresh coating of dirt and gravel
and rocks kicked loose by earlier risers
reaching to me for balance more than once
holding on during slippery stretches

it was a welcome reminder
that even though a path
might look the same
the journey is different
for everyone
that I shouldn’t forget
to slow down when things are easy
to see if someone else
is struggling and in need
of a hand