She looked out over the dunes for his return, a sign, anything.
Would he come? Why haven’t heard? Why is he so distant?
This is the part she hates, the intensity of the feelings, love, hope,
doubt, distance, despair, delight, resolve, and resignation.
It had always been this way. Was it her obsession? Was he really that
different? Was he really so sweet, and caring, and tender, and distant, and
Does it have to be thus?
She kept looking, kept hoping, every day, whenever she could, she’d
look out and hope, watch the sun fade and steal her heart, pulling it down
beyond the horizon, inevitably, undeniably. Broken, she would return inside
and pretend her life to continue.
In the morning sunrise would return her hope, renew her spirit, buoy her
heart…..and the pattern would repeat, day in and day out.
The day came when she no longer went to the deck. She
knew now that his absence wasn’t a delay, a deferral, it was a decision.
She would never look out again.
She became better at pretending to be happy,
took solace in things that had become familiar but never fulfilling, there
but not their’s, comfortable but not comforting.
Alive, but not living.
He steered the ship through the storm, made little progress. He had
turned back over and over only to return to this ship and try again. He was
unprepared, unequipped, and unsure of the way.
Sure of his purpose.
There was something that compelled him. Something that drove him on
this time in spite of the storm, In spite of all the objections to his
leaving the safe harbor.
The waves chilled him, blinded him, concealed his progress. But he was
moving forward, he was approaching the coast. He was approaching that which
had held him together for years.
The storm receded, the sun appeared and then set. She would be watching,
or would she? It had been so long, so much time lost, so many times he’d
disappointed her by returning to the safe harbor.
He could see now, the sea was calming, the wind relenting, the mists of the
rains fading. He could see.
He looked at the shore, felt the guilt rise, felt the shame of his cowardly
delay consume him.
How could he have expected her to wait? After all he’d done and failed to
do, how dare he think himself worth it.
He returned to the tiller, began a gentle turn away from the coast. The
tears blinded him, he couldn’t imagine life alone.
And then he heard the voice, he tried to see but only saw motion. She was
there, she had always been there, it was his doubt that blinded him.
But it was her gentle, loving, honest heart that led her back to the
shore. Not another chance, but compelled to continue the journey with him
as they were meant, first separately, and then together, to complete.
It wasn’t where, how, or when they came together, it was always that they
would come together.
The journey continues.