My darling, I miss you.
Your mouth was smiling when we parted ways but your eyes were not.
They held tiny blue-green storms that swirled like waves on the great oceans of the heart—full and sparkling and sad.
Our embrace was the kind that love has. You wrapped me in one of those bear hugs so that I couldn’t see your face but I felt your tears on my shoulders like raindrops. My own spilled down my cheeks as yours made tracks down my arms. They replaced our words—all those words that I should have said but at the time, felt inadequate. Instead, I simply stated that I would see you soon. And you nodded, even though we both knew that soon wouldn’t be soon enough.
Saying goodbye should be easy by now. I know that. It is an irrevocable part of life, further heightened whilst on the road.
Every ocean crossing, each new city, mountain range and desert village introduces new faces. Faces with eyes that shimmer for more with unspoken questions on their lips. A smile that radiates a mutual need to wander. Friendships flourish at a different pace here, nothing becomes everything within hours—a mere evening can be enough to feel at home in another’s arms.
Yet, it is always a temporary home. Travelling is an endless and heady rotation of greetings and farewells. People come and go, just as I come and go, just as you came and went.
I must confess that I often think that it would be far simpler to continue alone. To avoid these new faces and, thus, dodge the painful goodbyes.
Sometimes I act on this. Sometimes I am not brave enough and I run for the simplicity of being alone. It is easy to run away when I am already running. I very nearly acted on these thoughts when I met you for I have begun to recognize, within this continual stream of hellos and goodbyes, which farewells will be especially painful. And I immediately knew that ours would hurt.
I’m learning that the ache of the farewell should never be a reason to avoid the embrace.
Life on the road is teaching me that it is not only places that open our hearts but it is also the individuals that cross our paths whilst new lands claim us. Those beings who expose doors within us which we never knew were locked shut. Who send blazing trails across the indigo deep of our thoughts. Who reveal our most secret yearnings. Who swell our dreams into something tangible. Who show us an alternative way to listen, to love, to trust, to be. I knew within minutes that you were one of these beings, with such an aliveness gleaming on your skin.
We should have been happy for both ourselves and each other when goodbye was finally forced upon our bruised lips. We both had had wondrous ventures before us—the lands of the east were calling you and I was flying west across the Atlantic. New shores awaited, brimming with the adventure of untrodden paths and I knew that you wanted it all, more than anything, just like me.
But as we stood in the departure lounge, the roads ahead seemed to lose their sparkle. Instead my thoughts were fixated on the opposite directions that they were taking us, on how much I wanted to clasp your hand in mine. How I longed to keep hold of it whilst dancing across the Atlantic. My aching insides nearly brought me to suggest it.
But to love another is to set them free. It is to embolden another’s desire to mark the earth with their own imprints—to spur them to dance out their own wild explorations. It is to allow another to discover the aspects of life that transform their soul into a soaring bird of fire, dipping and wheeling before the sun’s last flare of ruby across a flooding blue sky. The east is tugging at your heart and it fills me to the brim to see you spread your wings in preparation for this new place of unknowns.
Parting is hard. For each of these precious souls have become a part of us that words can never fully describe.
As we stood as high as the clouds and felt the earth pulse beneath our feet, as we floated upon turquoise waves that cradled our naked bodies under a sea of stars, as we laid on our backs in the desert sand and breathed rings of hashish smoke into the glittering ceiling covering our heads, a kinship was weaved. With every farewell, we give a little of ourselves away. And in return, we’re given a piece of the being that soared across our path to cherish until we are reunited. Which we will be, we have to be because our souls are now connected. One day, they will meet once again in another corner of this wonderful world.
I will see you soon, I know that.
Until then, continue to fly my darling. The whole world is yours to hold.
Author: Robyn Bell
Apprentice Editor: Carlene Kurdziel / Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: Flickr/Dave Catchpole