Love is like the ocean, lapping gently on the sand warming hearts with its adventure and generosity. But love can also be like a Tsunami, empty, dangerous and sorrowful. Sometimes it is just not there and that is okay. You can have everything in life but also have nothing at the same time. It’s all about perspective. Love is like the ocean. Unpredictable but so very important.
I was walking on the sand in the middle of the night, the soft beams of the full moon illuminating the waves racing to the shore. It was so peaceful yet intimidating. Such a small person in such a big place. The soft imprints of feet were the only thing that gave away the fact that I had been here. I lift my shirt over my head and step into the cool, pure water. Allowing one deep breath I dive in. Letting all my thoughts dissipate into the water I am finally able to relax and enjoy the moment. These are the things that I live for in the world. Being at ease with myself and appreciating these moments that make me so thankful to be alive.
I walk slowly out of the water, the magic of the moment leaving my body. Dreading the reality that I had to go back to, my mind clouding with emotions. I walk back onto the path away from the echoes of waves crashing on the sand. The night sky was aglow with bright city lights leading me to the back door of the house. I slowly open the door and creep upstairs to my room, a sliver of moonlight illuminating my bed where I fall into slowly before allowing my tired body to rest. The crisp wind coming through the crack in the window with the rustling of the trees, a melody that was so beautiful yet so special, lulling me into a deep and dreamless sleep.
I woke up sobbing in the morning. Bringing my knees to my chest I focus on breathing and the good memories, but the pleasure of remembering had been taken from me, because there was no longer anyone to remember with. As if the things we'd done were less real and important than they had been hours before.
I walk down stairs, the heaviness of sadness hovering over the kitchen bench like a rain cloud threatening to pour down at any minute. I take a seat next to dad. Putting his arms around me, he pulls me against his coat. I sat like that for hours, holding back a great urge to cry for the most influential person in my life, that had no choice but to go up the stairs into another, better place. The weight of what has been lost is always heavier than what remains. I slowly move out of my fathers embrace and get ready for one of the hardest days in my life.
I put my bag on my back and walk slowly in the rain to school. I find peace in the rain, that is always how it is. The elements of the world showing me real strength and power. Letting me know that there is something above me, bigger and more impactful than anything you could ever imagine. It makes me feel fierce and strong. Most importantly unstoppable.
I enter the school grounds and I walk through the bending corridors to my class. The overcast sky mirroring my mood as I step into English class. I take my seat at the back and daydream, ignoring everything around me. My mind was a whirlwind of activity. The teacher's words passing through my head. The loud drone of the school bell brought me back to reality, I got my things and rushed outside into the fresh air. I could feel the eyes of other students drill into the back of my head as i walk off. I don’t care though. They would never understand. I walked out of the school gates, I was definitely not going to Geography, I didn’t want to go or see the only person that would actually figure out that there was something wrong with me.
I walk slowly along the lonely streets, finding a rhythm in the pitter patter of the rain and the wind. I arrive at my secret place. A place only I and one other person know about. I reach the first few branches of the tree and pull myself up one at a time until I am at the top, swaying in the wind. I shut my eyes and just breathe. In and out. Sleep comes like the falling of an axe. I know it must come but I fight it with everything that I have until I give up and let it take me away.
My dreams are a blur, changing from memory to memory of my mum. I can see her blue eyes and dark hair and then her pale skin and bald head. Everything is unravelling in my mind so fast that I can’t keep up until the memory of yesterday. It was cross-country and I went to school like usual. I lined up on the starting line and then the gun went off. Once you get in the zone, to run is a form of whole-body meditation. Your thoughts can go places they couldn't before. It is one of the many keys available to unlock the imagination. When I'd run, when my soles felt the earth and gained their own rhythm, my thoughts became lyrics - my own original track had the chance to play for its audience of one. It was the only place of escape I could really turn too. It helped me figure everything out. There is a part of my soul that needs sport to express itself in that innate language we are all born with, the one before we learn words and culture. It is the part of me that was born to run, born to feel freedom in movement and joy at my own strength.
I awoke with a start. It was dark again. The night was a special kind of blackness, the kind that wants only to hold the stars and help them to shine all the brighter. It was a warm black that hugged you no matter what, and within it's safety I could feel my own soul all the more clearly, that innocent inborn spark.
I look down. He knew what had happened. He looks into my dark eyes and I slowly climb down, giving myself time to clear my head off the most awful memories. I drop softly onto my feet and look away from his gaze of concern. I feel his hand on my shoulder turning me back around, the trust seeping through his fingertips before he embraces me. I had been hugged before, but never like this since my mother passed. There was something so warm, something that felt right, smelt right. I let my body sag, my muscles become loose. He gave me the respect of an equal but cradled me like a cherished child. In that embrace I felt my worries loosen, their keen sting and my optimism raise its head from the dirt. I felt him brush my hair back with his gentle fingers and kiss me gently on the cheek. I gasp and look away the moment disappearing again as the reality floods back, hitting me like a brick wall. Despite the mayhem of the past few days , I found that he was still holding my hand in his own and nothing in the world would have persuaded him to let go. I didn’t need to say anything. He knew how much pain I was in. But I wouldn’t have wanted him here with me any other way. He knew me inside out and that is just what I need right now.
When someone you love dies, and you’re not expecting it, you don’t lose her all at once; you lose her in pieces over a long time — the way the mail stops coming, and her scent fades from the pillows and even from the clothes in her closet and drawers. That's what I was slowly beginning to understand, I guess that's where the tears came from, knowing that there's so much in this great big world that you don't have a single ounce of control over.
He and I were the walkers of the velvet night. We were the only ones, he was holding my hand, but there was more to it than that. Hope that was that there was more to life than loss. We got to the back door of home and he gazed into my eyes. His own filled with concern. My thoughts make sound in the silence “ I'm losing hope. Tell me how to be in this world. Tell me how to breathe and feel no hurt. Tell me how could I believe in something anymore.”
“ I believe in us. You once told me that the human eye is god's loneliest creation. How so much of the world passes through the pupil and still it holds nothing. But that is not true. It holds the whole world; colours and experiences.” Then he turned away and walked slowly down the street, his tall figure silhouetted in the moonlight. I turn around and walk to the back door and sit in the chair outside the door. I wanted nothing more than to lay down and be enveloped by the warmth of silence. Whether I wanted to rest permanently or not, I did not know. I never would have thought silence would be considered warm but there I was sitting in the dark prepared to be swept away by the hope that my sleep would be filled by light.
I was engulfed by my thoughts. In loss we travel through the waves of grief, in that most unpredictable of emotional storms. If we are blessed there is a lighthouse to navigate toward, a place to go for shelter and warmth. I just found my lighthouse. Someone who was going to help me find myself again. I look up to the sky and whisper ‘thank you’ under my breath. The echoes of the word scatter away. Perhaps the hope had been there all along, but without some love it was trapped, like crystals in a stone.