I wake early, before the sun creeps over the horizon, and I sneak quietly from the cocoon of our bed.
Closing the door as to not wake him prematurely, I hover at the threshold momentarily, resisting the urge to crawl back and immerse myself within the limbs that often feel as close to me as my own.
I walk onwards, tip toeing over cool smooth white tiles to where my yoga mat lay waiting for me, strewn out by his hands the eve before, because I like to be part of the first thing you do each day, he told me the night before as tears welled silently in my eyes.
Are you real? I would often ask him, our flesh burning, hearts beating, eyes searching each other’s, trying to find the answers to questions that perplexed us both—the hows, the whys, the mysteries, the perplexities, to questions whose vastness hid within their simplicity.
There are some people you meet in life, who teach you more about yourself than you ever could have learned alone, who unravel the tightly wound threads to see the flesh hiding underneath. There are some people that change you, that open your eyes to a new way of seeing and existing, that offer you their glasses to wear momentarily, whose image burns into your retina indefinitely.
There are some people we meet who we feel akin with instantaneously, whose step we walk in time with naturally and whose sentences we finish in our own heads before their lips can catch up.
He didn’t intend to shatter my world.
He has no desire to change me, to fix me, to rework the various molecules of my being into something that suits him a little more perfectly. He takes my smiles in the same way he takes my tears. He holds as tightly when I am whole as he does when I am broken. He listens to the dreams I have that speak of plural wanderings, as intently as he does when my longing for vast solitude spills forth to his ears.
We whispered warnings to one another in the early days, when the hours of night turned to day and sleep had failed to catch us and pull us into her embrace. He warned me of the obligations that shackled him and his inability to fly and roam in the same way that my life allowed.
I warned him of the necessities that made me fly and roam and my inability to ground and settle as his life dictated.
My wings remained the delicate prickly obstacle, yet he never sought to banish them, he never cursed them, he never fought them, he never wished to clip them when I was dream worlds away. He soothed them, he cared for them—he made sure that during stints in one place, they never forget what it felt like to have the wind gushing through their underside.
He knew the workings of them, he knew they had the power in their simple grace to take me away from him indefinitely, their beat too loud and intoxicating, overriding the beat of the heart. He knew if I chose to fly he couldn’t keep up, his wings were clipped for now, out of practice, waiting for the day when he could roam again, waiting for the time to come when he could follow the currents of the sky by my side.
I was a rebel at heart, a stubborn streak ran through me. I delighted in walking against the crowd and living life against the grain. Yet his open embrace made me see something in me that I had never understood before, that all I needed was an open door, a window cracked ajar, the sea breeze finding its way to my naked skin at night, days whose hours stretched before me without their minutes being dictated. He gave me no reason to fight, to rebel, to prove who I was or what I believed in. He accepted all of it, without a single heavy sigh or hidden roll of the eyes.
The words freedom and independence were tattooed in black ink on my spirit. They were my mantra with each step I took and the only truth I had ever fought with tooth and nail to protect.
I believed that being in a relationship meant the death of these. I fought companionship because it whispered threats of stability and monotony in my ear. I sketched a timeline of my life that had only ever one set of footprints, for anything else would tie me down, slow me down, drag me down.
I refused concepts of marriage, family, even monogamy. I scoffed at society, I looked down on love, I embraced a reckless pursuit to sabotage relating deeply with another, for its survival would only ever be my own slow and painful death.
I was wrong.
It hasn’t been an easy journey to clear away thirty years of my mantra. It hasn’t been simple to accept that there could be another way- for my stubborn nature and rebellious spirit wants deep down to always be right.
Love isn’t the suicide I thought it would be.
There are compromises, but there are always choices.
I will never understand why I was the one blessed to live beside this soul. I will never be able to explain what we share and how it so far surpasses anything I have ever heard or seen before. He fills my world so completely in his quiet simplicity that it needs no dramatic extravagance. He showers me with so much beauty and wonder that my need for new horizons has eased.
Stay open to the possibility that you have the capacity to change.
Stay open to the possibility of the impossible.
Stay open to the road you thought wasn’t yours to travel.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Kelly Fielding
Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: Valeria C Preisler at Flickr