Chapter Five: Goodbye

It is 4:32 am on July twenty-seventh. It has been storming for hours and I am thankful for the darkness and the noise that surround us as we slip away from the Commune, maybe for the last time. I silently thank Nature, choosing to believe she is wrapping us in a cloak of diversion, ushering us to safety. This early in the morning always feels like change; like leaving for vacation, or the first day of school. There is a confidence that comes with being up and on your way before the sun is there to guide you. My mind has been playing a dizzying game of ping-pong about whether or not to leave for two days. Even as my hands steadily packed our things, not even shaking to write the contents on each box, the whir of indecision above my shoulders never left me. This morning, though, I am sure. 

     I am learning to disengage. I used to be a spectator, anxiously invested in the score on the edge of my seat. Sometimes I was even sure that I was the one playing. This time that ping-pong game was nothing but a metronome, its steady rhythm pacing my movements as I carried out the will of my heart. For 36 years I have chased a liar, grabbing at its form only to have it disappear like vapor in my arms each time I was sure I caught up to it. My body has never lied to me. My spirit, her threads woven throughout every cell, has never scolded me for the chase. She welcomes me back without judgement every time, dressing my wounds and rocking me to sleep. It is past time for me to listen to her.

     “Mom?”

     I return to the present, checking my speed. 65. My shoulders are relaxed.

     “Yeah, buddy?”

     “I forgot to say goodbye to Rupa”.

. . .