Stepping from the train, onto the solid surface, I drown away the surrounding noise with my innermost thoughts. I've been here, many times, on many occasions, travelling from place to place but on this day, this very day of days, I've returned to that one special place that holds my heart. Steady, calm, with nothing but a selfless smile across my face, I start the ever knowing walk to the destination ahead.
I recall the first time I arrived here, to the same hustle and bustle of daily life, people shouting, pushing and clambering to jump onto the train. Maybe most of them were escaping, back then and now, as a paradise to one could often be a hell for another. Either way, so far, not a great deal had changed. They say that when you travel through life you miss so much, with closed eyes, but for me, on occasions such as this, I try to slow time to ensure I take in as much as possible. A people watcher, a location learner and one of those that wants to experience as much as possible.
Walking from the train station, to the world outside, the sky loomed overhead, which for once was thankfully filled with blue instead of a grey. I turned left heading up the street. I’d often travel light, knowing that each destination would possess the required extras. We, as a people, can clutter, gathering as much of something or everything as possible. Travelling light meant no fuss, no error, always ready to run in case of being late or a taxi needing to be chased. To be ready, to know everything around you, meant a connection existed between you and the world. I’d like to believe that such a thing could exist but, as with many ideals and actions, as long as it made me believe in a better way, the task was accomplished.
People around me started to vanish, fade into the background, as my location wasn't exactly in the main area of town. It was secluded, off the beaten track, a prize to find and own. The magic in each location was seemingly handed to you, but the real magic was often behind the scenes. Life can be hidden, swept away, degraded into the b-roll of creative video. I, personally, would prefer to see everything that’s on offer. Warts and all. Show me the worst with the best, the great with the decrepit. Don’t hide. I know it’s there, even with each person, I know that we have things we’d prefer to hide, but even the grandest building, the most beautiful location, has cracks along the surface. It is life, it’s the experience, ready to be lived, loved and adored.
The buildings started to close in on each other, the path ahead shrinking to barely accommodate two people walking side by side. Silence, a range of colour from the overhanging clothes, drying with the aid of the sun, I could smell baking of some kind. Wonderful, filling, beautiful baking. Natural, real, all adding to the ambience and attraction of this place. A feeling of warmth flooded through me, into my veins, holding my heart with care and remembrance. Recalling the previous times I’d visited here, with each time affording something new, original, breath taking, I once again reminded myself of the reason why I returned here again and again. Beauty wasn't just the kiss from a lover’s lips, or the fragrance of a body, it could be absolutely anything at all if you chose to see it that way. Slightly overwhelmed with a slight rush of emotion, recalling the happy times, the sad moments, I stopped for a second. Just a small second.
Taking in the brickwork on the floor, the cat nonchalantly looking at me through the window, the background noise of a person cycling from left to right, I carry on moving forward. Ever forward. I remember a wise old man, all those years back, giving me some wise information. He told me, ‘no matter what you do, use each day to move forward. Even if it’s one single small step. The future doesn't matter as the future is but one second away’. He was right, he knew this to be true and according to the world, it made sense. In the blink of an eye the whole world could change.
A smile started to appear across my face as I neared my destination. Once in a lifetime, maybe even twice if you’re lucky enough, you could share a dream with someone. You can bloom, grow, become a better person and to me, this place, is where I became who I am today. We only ever used careful hands with each other, we only ever expressed our thoughts with kindness and love. In a thousand miles, with all the wonders of the world, this one little space, right here, meant more to me than all of those wonders.
Standing there, in front of the door, taking in the dark green painted wood, the quaint door knock, with the engraved lion head, I smiled another smile and laughed a little as all of the thoughts came flooding through. Raising my hand, placing it onto the door’s surface, a few small tears escaped through my eyes. The emotions ranged from grief, love, loss, pain and more. None of them removed my smile. This place, albeit a memory as I’d not lived here for 10 years, was ours for over 45 years until that day, that final day, where you left this world for a new adventure.
We’d said goodbye, as I held you in my arms, looking through the window and listening as I’d done since the train arrived. I’d made it my purpose, my living objective, to eventually settle here. All my affairs were concluded, dots crossed and everything signed, I’d left the current life to return to this place. Free, ready, the remaining years set to be reminded of you. Removing my hand from the door I reached into my jacket pocket, finding the key, returning to place the key into the lock. Turning, with time seemingly pausing, all sounds erased from my current mind, I could hear the mechanism turn and with a small push the door opened.
A small moment of hesitation invaded my mind, be it fear, loss, it did not matter. Today was right now and each day, before this day, had led to this moment. Stepping forward, embracing the destination, I walked into this home of homes. Turning, slightly, I looked back into the street, remembering, recalling, all of the moments of that life. Slowly, with thoughts relaxing in my mind, I closed the door and exhaled slightly. A new life, a new start, began today on this very day.
I recall the first time I arrived here, to the same hustle and bustle of daily life, people shouting, pushing and clambering to jump onto the train. Maybe most of them were escaping, back then and now, as a paradise to one could often be a hell for another. Either way, on that day, everything changed. They say that when you travel through life you miss so much, with closed eyes, but for me, on occasions such as this, I try to slow time to ensure I take in as much as possible. On that first day, I’d met you.
Vie Heureuse – Happy Life