Only thing that we did wrong
Was stayin’ in the wilderness so long,
Keep your eyes on the prize,
Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on,
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on!
Alice Wine, Keep your eyes on the prize
As the next trip draws near, I can let myself admit how difficult this latest separation has been for both of us. This was the longest space between the moments yet and it has been tough. The Skype contact makes it bearable (how on earth we ever managed for 18 months just talking on the phone I’ll never know) but obviously, Skype can never replace being in the same room as the one you love.
So yes, it has been very hard – never hard enough to question why we are doing it – but certainly hard enough to generate occasional depressions and bouts of melancholy. We’re only human after all and in these uncertain times in which we live, there is always an underlying anxiety.
Some of my friends and I have a ‘thing’ we say, where do you want to be when the planes stop flying? It’s kind of an in-joke but not really. It’s an acknowledgment that things are not too flash in the world these days and that everything could so easily go tits up. If the planes stop flying I know exactly where I want – where I need – to be; home. If there’s one hesitation in that it’s due only to the fact that my other home – my son – lives here in Melbourne, so were I with Jersey girl and unable to make the trip back to Australia, obviously that would be a source of deep anxiety for me.
We must follow where our hearts lead, however, and my son is as cognizant of that fact as am I. Love always demands a sacrifice. Some would even say love is sacrifice. Perhaps that’s true, it doesn’t really resonate with me, though. For me, love is the wellspring from which all things flow. Purpose, growth, altruism, and empathy all stem from love. Love for our work brings purpose, love for our friends and family brings personal growth, love for our community brings altruism, and love for those less advantaged or in pain brings empathy.
If you are capable of love in all its many incarnations, then you are ready for the truest love, the love of your life. And you will both need the other to have all of that capacity just to get you through the many trials of this life; that’s where the sacrifice comes in.
For richer, for poorer. In sickness and health. Those are great words, essential words and there are good reasons why they form part of most marriage vows. Without the empathy and compassion those words require from both parties, no relationship can flourish. That is what has gotten us through all these years of long separations with our sanities (mostly) intact. When one of us weakens, begins to spiral, the other’s compassion is what pulls the plane out of its dive.
There have been countless such moments and yet here we still stand, together even when separated by the mass of a medium sized planet.
Words and image are my own.