Heart In Two Lives

There's no more to be said at this point. It's all over and there is nothing left but relief.

So what can I do to convey that emotion? I swallow, and close my eyes, listening to the world around me. At the moment, there is no sound but the crash of the rain on every solid surface, and the jarring rattle of the rivulets dripping from the eaves.

It's been so long since I stood on this veranda, a time that stretched and that seemed to not have an end, where all I could do was yearn for this house, this garden, this life.

And now that I am here, I find I want nothing more than to leave; as if my purpose was fulfilled in simply touching the rough unpolished, peeling grass green door. As if from that moment, there was nothing more that needed to be done in this place. I haven't decided yet if that's true, or whether I still have something that I need to do or a role to fill.

It's because, after all that I've been through, during that whole time that I was longing for this place... this safe haven... I was living for the first time. I don't think I can return to this mundane, drab grey world again. There's vibrancy in the world that I have now experienced that cannot compare to this place. I feel that I was a fledgling bird in this old building, and perhaps I waited too long to leave the nest. I was urged from the gilded prison by my family, my friends, and my own community. The world urged me forth. Though in that time, as I flew through over mountains, oceans, battlegrounds and peaceful temples, I longed for security, for a safe place... once I attained it again, I no longer needed it.

I can fly on my own now.

No one needs to hold my hand, because I can do without. I stand on my own two feet, soar on my own two wings, and I have strength I never knew I held before.

I open my eyes again and blink in the sudden overwhelming light. It's still pouring down, water like tears of the heavens. I glance back over my shoulder at the house I grew up in, the grass green door, the darkened windows, the white paint, and the dead leaves on the dusty wood beneath my feet. The nest is no place for an adult bird. It may be raining, but it's time to take flight again.

Slowly, I step out and gasp as I am struck by a powerful wind, rain pelting my pale skin and despite the surprise it gives... I can feel my lips twitching. I can feel it stretching my face as it grows, becoming a full blown smile full of gladness. My hair comes loose of its bindings and sticks to my cheeks, my eyes struggling to stay open as the rain strikes my eyelashes. I raise my hands out wide on either side of me and feel a bubbling in my chest, building as it strains to pass my lips. I let it, and it escapes as a joyous laughter as my arms extend, transforming (in my mind) into beautiful feathered wings. 'Very well then,' I say as water adorns my lips, 'I'll fly away.'

Just like that, I can fly. Just like that, I'm free.

No one can stop me now. I've adventured too much to stop. I never need to go back to that place of safety, because I can defend and protect myself. I never need to be pinioned to one location again... I never need to, and I never will again.

An aging woman cries. She's not sure if they are tears of gladness or sorrow, but only knows she cannot stop.

Her daughter, her beloved daughter, had broken free. After years of travel, she'd returned only the night before, and curled up and smiled the warmest smile her mother had ever seen.

But it was never meant to last.

Everyone grows older.

No one can cling to their mother forever, though everyone would love to be safe always in their mother's embrace. Everyone would like to believe that their mother can always solve all their problems, but everyone knows it isn't true.

Her mother knows that it's a good thing that her daughter is leaving again, going out into the world and living and breathing and travelling the world like she had been for years unwillingly. She knows that.

But still... the tears don't stop. She's so proud. But they just keep flowing, much like the rain her daughter just walked into, disappearing just like a mirage.

She's so proud. She loves her so dearly. And she knows... she knows she'll be back. Back when she feels it again; the need for something as simple as her mother's kind hugs, her hot chicken soup. But how long will that be?

She blinks the tears away and takes a deep breath. When her daughter needs her mother, her mother is always there. So the woman stands and picks up the phone. 'Hello mother? Do you mind if I come over?'

And so that's how it is. Mothers and daughters, sisters and brothers, fathers and sons. All can find solace with each other, whenever they need to. But when it's time to let go, when all is said and done, there's no stopping the flow of time.

The woman looks back out the window and can almost feel the cool, soothing sensation of rain on her own skin. She allows the rhythmic tempo of rain to calm her and she feels a small smile break on her face. It's okay, she tells herself, it's okay because she'll be back. She's living as she never has before, and she'll want to share it with her mother, in her own unique way... soon.

It's okay, she says.

I'll be back soon, her daughter assures, running through the rain and smiling, her pulse linking her to two worlds; the safe haven of home... and the excitement of a live being lived.

I know, is the answer that follows her wherever she goes, I know.