20080728

Leaving town


It's 1:00 am.  The evening rain cooled the heavy summer air to a comfortable level.  Yes, the temperatures finally rose here in my final week or so in this island nation.

What will happen to the ficus I found near-dead in the garage when I arrived?  I pulled it out, threw some coffee grounds and water on it, pruned it back, and watched as tiny green dots appeared on the brown twigs one morning.  In a few more days, they evolved into slivers, then tiny spears and finally, full-fledged leaves unfurled in the sunlight.  With no one to care for it, the tree I've come to regard as mine will probably dry out again and die.

Not one to leave behind a mess, I cleaned the house and did my laundry this weekend.  Sorting through my clothing, a familiar scent wafted off my sundress.  I closed my eyes, brought it to my face, inhaling deeply and saw a grassy hill under a clear sky, a quiet inn tucked away in the hills, fragrant herbs surrounded by vineyards, eyes that at times seemed clear blue, others stormy gray, but always full of expression and passion.  I felt the warmth of a summer evening along the Mediterranean, the cool kiss of mountain air as I gazed out an open window into the darkness, the reassuring hand that steadied me on cobbles slicked by rain, the warm embrace that made everything else in the world cease to exist for me, if only for awhile.  Not wanting to lose those moments, I decided not to wash that dress.

And the job?  I hadn't accomplished what I'd hoped I would this summer, but my goals diverged from those of my boss.  My time was consumed by odd jobs and errands that took precedence.  My brain is atrophying due to lack of challenging stimulation.

This summer I learned not to trust people who possess an overbearing sense of entitlement, and to trust my instincts when I sense something isn't quite right about a situation, things I already "knew," but hadn't really experienced.  A painful lesson I am still working through.

This summer I learned to feel.  For the first time ever, I didn't analyze the life out of a situation, I just let myself live in the moment and opened myself to whatever feelings flowed through me.  For the first time ever, I felt deep passion and attachment at a level of which I didn't think I was capable.  And for the first time ever, I understand deep in my heart the meaning of the adage 'tis better to have loved and lost...  even though I'm desperately fighting the 'lost' part.