Throughout my plentiful journeys I have found myself often looking to my right and left and realizing that I was by myself. I’m not heartless, of course, every now and then I would feel a small tug on my heartstrings but for the most part you will find me standing tall and proud. Taking in everything I possibly could, the smells, the light, the wind, anything and everything I could somehow put into words, I will soak it up, making sure that I won’t forget a single nuance of the moment. In those moments, I am actively creating memories for myself, but more importantly for the person I can’t take with me. The ones that would have loved to see what I am seeing, the ones that would have understood the significance, the ones that asked me to take them with me…
When I stand there (or occasionally also sit), I am breathing in life to the parts of me that I don’t usually think about. I see and hear and smell and feel the world around me, and as I slow down, the world will spin faster and faster around me and I am centered in the wonders that this world has to offer. It’s quite simple, really, it’s a memory that I carve into my heart. A memory that I will take with me, wherever I will go. I don’t think we take that time for ourselves often enough. In today’s craziness we rush from one hasty meeting to another and in between there is nothing we take away for ourselves. I am guilty of that too, naturally, but not when I finally come to a standstill, to a place of happiness. I’ve been taking a beat for myself for as long as I can remember and every now and then A caught a photo of me just doing that:
I’ve learnt a very long time ago that sometimes you won’t have a witness with you, another pair of ears and set of eyes, that will experience the very same at a particular moment, if you will. My grandma used to say that it didn’t mean that no one was interested in your lived experiences (because I used to take it as such). It just means that you will have to find other ways to share your experiences. My grandma always used to say that she wished she could have been there with me, that the next time I would go on a trip, she would love to join. She would say that she couldn’t believe her ears and that listening to me, felt like an adventure in itself. She was a wonderful person, who I would have loved to show the world to and I had hoped that one day I would be able to, but sadly, that wasn’t the case.
When she passed away, I found myself wishing that I could have been there that I could have held her hand and that I could have comforted her, making her see the world through my eyes and maybe, just maybe, that would have sparked one more heartbeat. I was devastated and heartbroken and for a brief time I wished to never venture out again. But I remembered the words she always used to say, as I was embarking on another journey, “take me with you”.
And so I took her with me, everywhere I went from here on out and further. I had to remind myself that life was good and that even if I can’t physically share an experience with someone that I love so dearly that I can still share a moment through my words and just maybe, make a memory come to life again and it will be as if that person was always with me, never really gone. Having seen and heard and felt the very same thing I have, even though we are lifetimes apart.
So, here is to taking in life, taking a breather and taking someone with you on your journey, because life is magical and wonderful and adventurous, even at 5 in the morning, after only a couple hours of sleep in the middle of winter somewhere along the Amalfi Coast in Italy at sunrise. And although my grandma wasn’t with me at that very moment, I’d like to think she kind of was… But let me tell you, at that very same moment, A was not happy to be with me, so early in the day, seeing me dancing around like a crazy person, taking in the beauty of everything. Well, I guess we can’t all be morning persons…
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