The wind tore at my face, nearly ripping my scarf off. Struggling to keep my balance against the raging blizzard, I pushed it roughly back in place. As if trying to boycott my journey, the wind suddenly increased, forcing me to my knees.
Inwardly, I sighed. It was hard to think in a blizzard. I didn’t see any shelter for miles. This was truly a desolate place. But then again, the North Pole was hardly a pleasant place to live in.
My toes were starting to freeze up. And even a thick fur Eskimo suit couldn’t keep out the stinging, icy cold of the northern blizzard. Fighting against the wind, I rose to my feet slowly. My hands stung as I slapped them together in the whirling snow, trying to keep warm. I started walking, slowly, planting my staff in front of me, breasting the wind.
After wandering for what seemed like hours, I sank to my knees. An irrepresible, numbing cold overcame me. This cold was worse than the blizzard. It was the coldness of fear. I let the hard, awful truth sink in. I was lost. Miles from civilization in a region few but the foolhardy would dare to brave. My eyelashes were almost frozen closed. My hands and feet were so numb I couldn’t feel them.
I knew that if I stayed here I would die. If I walked I would also die. I decided to go on. I tried to get to my feet, only to be blown over by a fierce gust. Bowled over, my mouth and eyes full of snow, I felt like cursing. Somehow my mouth seemed thick, too thick for words. Though my senses were numbed, I knew I was freezing to death.
As though spurred on by the thought, I struggled to my feet. Bent over almost double, I shuffled through the snow, not caring where I was going. Only walking…one weary step after another…
I couldn’t go on much farther. I felt as though I was in a dark closet. A closet that contained all the winds of the earth. My dark thoughts started to envelop me.
Then, it was as though I’d stepped into another world. I fell forward on my face from the lack of pressure from the wind. My ears buzzed for a minute, unaccustomed to the half-quiet. Although I could still hear the storm around me, I was sheltered for a moment. Lifting up my head, I looked around. I had fallen into a sort of pit. Snowy walls encircled me.
As I rubbed my eyes, trying to fathom this natural phenomenon, I saw a hole in from of me. A black hole going down into the earth.
Was this the end of my search? Was this what Admiral Byrd had seen? Was this what I had been looking for all these months? Was this what I had almost died for? Tentatively, I crawled through the drifted snow, nearer and nearer to the edge. I raised myself to my knees and peered down.
There appeared to be a sort of path going down. Without hesitation, I stepped onto it. Before I vanished, I took one last look at the world I knew. Then I stepped forward and entered a world of black night.
I walked forward in the attitude of a blind person: arms stretched out in front and my head tilted up, keeping my balance in the dark. All noise of the storm had died out. It seemed as though I’d entered a timeless box. I was just an ant, crawling on forever and ever…
I walked for a long time. I didn’t know if it was day or night. I didn’t feel hungry or tired, strangely. I was even getting hot. I wondered where I was headed. What awaited me at the end of this tunnel?
It seemed like an age had passed. All I knew was that I had been walking for a very long time. My legs were about to give out. I stumbled a few steps further—and I saw a light.
It was a tiny as a pinhead, yet I knew I wasn’t seeing things. I swayed on my feet and sank to my knees. I’d rest a minute.
After a short rest, I rose again, determined to end my search. The light grew bigger. It was the size of a quarter. An apple. A beach ball. A tire. It was blinding after spending so long in the dark. I squinted. Then I reached the end.
Oh glory!! I stared unable to believe the scene that unfolded before my half-closed eyes…..