a year after adventure
She left tiny pieces of her soul as she passed from Boston to New Hampshire and New York to Pennsylvania. Through footprints, lipstick stains on coffee mugs, notes hidden between tree limbs, and laughter echoed through the wind.
She wasn't there anymore; in fact, it had been a year since she was. She knew, though, that those footprints still lingered, because you can't undo steps already made. Those coffee mugs were probably chipped or replaced, but if you could find where the lay now, oh the stories they would tell. What stranger had found those love notes? Whose soul had they invaded? Oh, what a story unfolding those trees must have witnessed. She knew the wind still carried the laughter they shared high up in the mountains, for the wind never has to let go of what it knows to be full of goodness.
It had been a year, but the cup of coffee she just poured reminded her that she did not need to be there to be free. She could be right here, in this midwest small town, while her heart still danced through that coffee shop down by Harvard Square. She could sit underneath the evergreen down the road, while her heart's cry still lingered up that Adirondack mountain.
That was the beauty of nostalgia. It didn't have to bring pain or grief or belief that today could never be as full. It simply reminded her that wherever she went, she would be free. A year after adventure, she could still be free.
Three hundred and sixty five days later. 31,622,400 seconds, 527,040 minutes, 8784 hours lived between that day and today. Today, as these word spout out like my third cup of coffee, I can't help but feel pain for the past three hundred and sixty five days.
It's a funny thing nostalgia can bring. We deeply want to be back to that moment three hundred and sixty five days ago when we stepped off a plan in Boston and wondered what the next two weeks would hold. We desperately want to feel the way we did when the airport doors slid open and fresh air we had never smelt before comes rushing through our veins. We want to be there. We want to be in every moment, every breath that we took in those moments.
There is no word to describe a year after adventure. There is simply bits and pieces of memory that give us hope (not grief) in the places we have embarked.
She poured another cup and traced her memories back to downtown New York. It was safe to let her mind wander. She knew these memories to be safe places to land. There would never come a day where she believed it was cruel to let her mind wander to these moments that were no longer, because she could still (and always would) feel the heartbeat in them. Yes, from her kitchen that morning, she could still feel life in the memories she traced over that cup of coffee.