Of all the hundreds of hikes I’ve taken with my little trio, there is always a point on the trail where I, without thinking, drop back from my partners and feel what it feels like to see them from a distance.
And I feel what it feels like to be apart and alone from them—without me. No talking, no laughing or sharing or relating or engaging.
I like to hear the sound of my boots on the dirt and branches that are on the narrow trail. I like to stand still for a bit and listen to my own breathing. And I like to examine the two of them, up ahead of me, traipsing along, happy.
I think I do this to remember what it feels like to be only me in the midst of wide open spaces. I think I do this to remember that there will be one day when neither of us will be looking ahead along the trail, waiting for the other to catch up. I like to feel the thrill of knowing that, right now, there are people waiting for me — further on.
Then I like to remind myself that it always ends up being each of us on our own and even if all that we have moves together through us, I can still steal several moments of that deep craving I’ve always had to be alone and separate, all the while knowing the trees and sky and clouds above me will forever tell me I was forged for you.
Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Romantic,