Remember those glory days of our youth, when all the world was fresh with possibility? It was the springtime of the spirit. In fact, it was spring. You and I were just two drops of rain and we felt like we could fall forever. The world was our sky, or the sky was our world. Whatever.
Everything was new and bright as we chased each other through the breeze. It was just you and me and gravity. Ok, and maybe 10 trillion other drops too, but it felt like we were special, like no one had ever felt that way before.
But then came the ground.
Solid reality rose up and smacked into us, and I lost you in the tumble through the trees. It was a whole new world, dangerous and strange, and full of bristles. We got mixed up with strangers and then we dripped to the forest floor. It felt like such an insult to merely drip after all the ecstasy of raining. Dripping and then soaking and saturating. Saturating alone without you.
While I was swept up in the crowds rushing for the water table, where were you? Had you fallen into some stream only to be swept away from me? Or had you permeated the humus and been absorbed by some thievish root?
The sky was just a memory, like a wisp of a dream as I permeated down, darkness and pressure becoming my everything. Life underground plays funny tricks on the mind. You forget that there could be anything else, but I never forgot about you.
Those days of inching through the earth were the hardest days of my life. Hard like stone. It was stone. Mazes of stone and everyone in a hurry. I was in a hurry too. We pressed and shoved and fought through every crack, each of us desperately thirsting for freedom. But could I ever be really free without you?
Then one day it just happened and I was flowing. All of us floundering together like amnesiacs on the subway, hurtling toward some destiny that none of us could make sense of. But as sunlight flashed through the water, I thought I saw you. You, my glittering darling of the troposphere. Was that you? The blurred face in a rushing crowd?
Over cliffs, we were free again and briefly we rained, but none of the droplets were you. To slow fishy depths we sank, and though the lakes and the fjords and the seas were deep, they seemed empty without you. The gloom suits the worlds down there, for they are places of lamentation and nostalgia. Your sparkle would break all the lonely hearts in that abyss.
But time is a roiling current, constantly turning our lives inside out and upside down. The darkness passed to twilight. Then one morning I was at the surface again, tossed from waves, whipped up in the wind and in the air and the sky. All the weight of the world was gone. I was thin as vapour. Etherial. Incorporeal.
There I was with the sunlight streaming in me. The sky breathed me in. And then remarkably, implausibly, there you were in the churn of the clouds. You were looking right at me, and I at you, and all of that darkness that had separated us made you shine brilliantly bright in my famished eyes.
Now here with me, you scintillate in the cold morning air. Holding onto one another, we crystallize, and in this ecstatic joy we precipitated out of this bright winter sky. But this time we’ll take our time, spinning and falling and whirling up on the wind. This time we’ll savour every moment as we dance toward our fates.
These are our silver days of snow now, our patient days of languidly falling and settling and sleeping. This time I won’t let you go. This time I will hold you so tight that we’ll glaciate. This time I’ll reshape the land. I’ll push over mountains before I ever let you go again.