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Started This Difficult Journey

covered in swadding to protect him the wet and cold.

By Md AzizulPublished 2 months ago 3 min read

Rain failed to deter Mala. She continued despite her garments being plastered to her skin by the unrelenting downpour. Edgar's little body was covered in swaddling to protect him from the wet and cold. With one arm cradling him, she securely held onto her other son's hand with the other. Six-year-old Burton plodded after her, his small hand warm in hers, his eyes wide with a mixture of weariness and interest. She was able to continue on her objective despite the dirt, filth, and mire. Mala was not deterred, even though every step she took across the soggy ground resulted in additional muck caked around her sneakers.

They started this difficult journey from the center of Pennsylvania. Mala continued to move forward because she believed that their future would be better than the physical distance they had to travel. The place they were searching for was only ever a fantasy passed down through the years, a wish murmured among friends and family. They made steady progress toward a location where they might start over and be free of the struggles they had left behind.

The trail was dangerous because of the rain, which made the ground slick. Every stride Mala took was an act of defiance against the weather. Her white, spotless sneakers had been covered in thick, adhering dirt, leaving them completely unidentifiable. Every now and then Burton faltered, but Mala's strong hand and reassuring words held him upright. She looked uncomfortable, yet there was a resolve in her eyes that suggested fortitude and an unwavering spirit.

Tightly wrapped, Edgar did not notice the conflict going on around him. The warmth of his gentle breath across her chest served as a constant reminder of the purity she was defending. Her resolve got stronger every time she saw her sons. She was prepared to go above and beyond to make sure they had the life they deserved—one free from anxiety and uncertainty.

They did not travel alone. They passed other families on route, and they were all traveling with the same unwavering quiet resolve. The rain continued to beat a steady rhythm on the improvised shelters and tired travelers alike, but it was unable to break the enthusiasm of the group. Their meager possessions, a dry blanket here, a piece of bread there, were divided by them. Every deed of compassion served as a ray of hope amidst the forlorn surroundings.

The roughest times were at night. Their clothing was soaked by the cold, and the rain was unforgiving. Burton curled up close to his mother, seeking solace in her company as they hugged together for warmth. Mala's voice provided a soothing contrast to the unceasing rain as she sung calm lullabies. She found comfort in these sensitive moments, a fleeting break from the unrelenting march onward.

The days went by, and the scenery started to shift. Pennsylvania's thick woodlands gave way to broad skies and undulating fields. Although the rain continued, there was a sensation of approaching their destination and a lightness in the air. Mala's mind would frequently go to the legends she had heard about the place they were looking for. It was a place of opportunity, where one could start over and get past the baggage of their past with perseverance.

They had arrived at the threshold of their new beginning after what seemed like a lifetime. Mala could make out the contour of their destination in the distance as the rain had subsided to a light mist. Though the region lacked the paradise she had pictured, it was nevertheless ripe with opportunity. It served her a blank canvas on which she could draw her children's future.

Mala took a moment to absorb it all and stood motionless. She had never realized the extent of her strength, but the journey had also put her to the test. As if sensing the shift, Edgar stirred in his swaddle as Burton's hand closed around hers. She inhaled deeply as she made the last few steps onto the land that was just suggested rather than explicitly promised. She wasn't stopped by the rain; on the contrary, it strengthened her. She was here now.

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    MAWritten by Md Azizul

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