It has been seven years now. And I’ve come home tonight.
To this delight of a home you’ve built for us in the dense of the forest. I come home to the songs of the gurgling brook, the gossips of the old pines by the fence and to the sweet aroma of little cookie-hearts, wafting through our kitchen. But most importantly, I come home to you and our little girl, Hope.
Come, take a walk with me down the orchards, across the woods and towards the town at night. Just follow my lead and listen to this story of our journey.
We’ve been down this road before, you and I.
The seasons have changed quite a bit haven’t they? The winters are probably the best around here, for there wasn’t a cold night you couldn’t make warm with your tenderness. But I know how much you enjoy watching the sun fill the summer sky. Look, it’s fall now, and the leaves of yesteryears have gathered around us. The trees are shedding and preparing to start all over again. Maybe we should too.
It was during one of our walks that we met Joy for the first time, do you remember? You both hit it off so well, you were inseparable. I almost thought he would move in with us. But back then I was not aware how faint-hearted he was. One bolt from the sky and he vanished before the thunder rolled down. And just when we thought ‘There goes a chap we are never going to see again,’ he emerges from the bushes smiling sheepishly. I like having him around though, so I don’t mind that he keeps vanishing from time to time. Although I must say, his disappearing acts are getting a little tiresome.
And so is feeding Sacrifice. That dog has a never-ending appetite. The more I offer the more he whines. I am happy that he makes you feel wanted and safe, but he has got to know when to stop demanding. I know you don’t ask for it, but as long as you live, he will keep living off you.
The one person I can’t get comfortable with, no matter how hard I try, is Sorrow. You keep telling me she is family. I agree she came from the same womb as you. But she doesn’t need to be wherever you are. She taunts me, secretly threatens to end our relationship and is always messing up with my plans for you. You keep telling me that I shouldn’t take her too seriously and that she would leave when the storm settled. Well, I wish I could accept her as easily as you do, but I am only human.
That’s why I like your cousin Fear better. He can be a real handful to deal with, I give you that. And when he comes gate-crashing into our intimacy, he always drags in Doubt, Anxiety, Disappointment and Defeat. That troublesome cavalry has turned our lives upside down quite a number of times. Be that as it may, I notice how much stronger we grow by the time he packs his bags to leave. Yes, I would choose him over Sorrow, anyday.
Oh, we’ve had our share of struggles I know. But things got a lot easier to deal with once Hope arrived. She was so tiny and frail the first time we held her. Look at her grow into those pretty dresses now. Just watching her play doll with her friend Faith, in our little yard, gives me the strength to face a thousand battles more.
And remember Dreams? I can never forget the night we got drunk and broke into an abandoned house by the brook, only to find her weeping in her cage. You took her down, into your arms, cradled her in the warmth of your palm for hours and then set her free. How beautiful it was to watch her flap her wings into the horizon pregnant with the promise of a dawn. I still hold on to a tiny blue feather that she left behind.
I recall often and bashfully, our trip to Adventure. Sitting on the edge of that ravine, drawing heat from the red embers between us, while the stars reflected clearly from the still waters below, you came clean and confessed about your affairs with Recklessness and Passion. That’s when I realized how easy it was to get carried away by circumstances and opinions, even for someone so divine like you. That night I opened my heart and let you in completely. I gave you the keys to those doors that I am too afraid to open myself.
It’s been so long since then, yet it all feels like yesterday. I wonder if they miss me, Loneliness and Regret. Haven’t heard from them since we got together. I know you call it ‘good riddance’, but you do realise that they were all I had, until you came along. Familiarity breeds a type of comfort that is easy to fall back into.
And now after seven years, here we are, still walking down this road. I know we promised to touch eternity and walk back, but the road is long, very very long, I realise now. This heart of mine has grown a little old, a little tired, just a little. Please don’t frown down on me when I stop from time to time to catch a breath or feel the grass. Its only a matter of time before I catch up.
And sometimes, we are on the same path but on separate roads. That’s okay too. I know you’ll wait for me when you get there first, and I know you’ll get there first.
Suit up Love. Let’s go out and celebrate tonight. I have a table for two at Memory Street. And then when we are tipsy and merry, let’s walk back home by the banks of Innocence. And when we close the door behind us later tonight, play our favourite track from Nostalgia while I let my hair down. Let’s slip into each others arms and sway to the old tune, until the break of dawn.