I walk, on and on. The climb is steep. The sun, high in the sky. I know not what it is I walk towards. Or away from. This journey, it’s purposeless. Or so I think. I never had a choice. She’s asked me to do it because she cannot. Too sick to travel. So here I am, completing her journey.
I’d guessed it, the fact that she wanted me to complete this journey for her. She said I needed it. Drugs cure physical ailments, but for ailments of the heart, nothing works. Nothing but time. Loss rocks your body and soul, and the unceasing grief just clings on. She’s wrong though. Nothing can cure a dying soul.
I can feel the sun on my back. My feet feel numb and I know I should stop. Yet I go on. Am I punishing myself? I do not have answers to that. I’ve ceased to exist. Stopped thinking or worrying. I look around and find that the landscape has changed. I can feel the dry, cracked soil under my feet. Isn’t this how my life changed too? From the green, lush landscape to a dreary desert? All while I was walking on blindly.
I’m almost there, at the top. The day’s come to a close. It’ll be dark in a few hours and I’ll be here, all alone. If the rational soul in me were still alive, it’d tell me to turn back and continue the journey sometime later. But I’ve stopped caring. Hence, I move on.
I stub my toe against a rock. And wait for the pain. There was a time when I foolishly believed pain could kill you. Now, I’m wiser. I know that pain does not kill. I’ve waited for it to snuff out my breath. It didn’t. It ached, hurt like hell. It would wash over in waves, take me by surprise and mist my eyes again and again. And then, I lost the capacity to feel.
I open my eyes to the sun and wait for it to warm me; the chill in my heart. I’m there at the zenith. On top of the world. I can see the path I’ve taken. I turn around, and face the valley. And the next moment, I stand transfixed.
The valley is in contrast to the bleakness of the path I’ve taken. It’s a violent swirl of colors. It’s dotted with violets and wild roses. Sliced by a gurgling stream and surrounded by silver birches. And there’s grass to roll on. I make my way, and claim my slice of heaven. Let myself come undone. And I let the beauty of it engulf me.
To think that all this is hidden from probing eyes, on this side of the mountain. Is this the answer I was waiting for? A feeling so intense, so surprising that it actually hurts? I feel myself heal. Like never before. I feel it course through me, and I take root. I am the sun, the wide-open sky without boundaries, I am the sweet spring that goes on, I am the leaves and the grass, and the fire in the stars. I am sacred, whole again. I’ve found my faith, my religion. My eyes mist as I realize what she meant when she said that this was my journey. To reclaim my lost faith. The life I’d lost, the one I’d given up on.
You climb the dreariest of mountains, sometimes give up halfway, and never know what waited for you on the other side. And sometimes, when you choose to go on, you find, life was there waiting for you, with all the answers.
Love is like that.