A wise aged woman reminded me of a popular line. ‘’There’s a time to embrace and a time to depart.’’ She continued, ‘’I don’t cling to things or people too much. When they leave, my life must move on.’’
Not my first time hearing it, but this time, it sounded deeply different. What struck me, I guess, was the expression on her face and the conviction with which she said it and what this old phrase has done to her — ‘It’s brought her to a secure space of acceptance.’
In a flash, it reached me peacefully. Yes, Dee, you’ve met some people for minutes, maximum a couple of hours at different points. The airport quick meet is always the topper — strong connect effortless conversation, great laughs, and exciting discoveries and after that moment never saw each other again. For some, we shared info and stayed in touch until we couldn’t communicate anymore and for others, no exchange. Of a truth Dee, there are some people you have embraced just for a moment, others for a day, some others for weeks, months, and some for years and then departed when the right time came along. Accepting this has added more to my life than subtract from it. I don’t have the need to sulk, feel sad forever or, feel less of myself when someone decides to leave or walk away — ‘sometimes, that someone is me.’ I only carry on with me the memories.
I remember one event just now, which was a trip to Ghana. It was my first time at the Kotokra Airport, although, I met a nice gentleman who helped me with my luggage, we soon said goodbye after his driver got us to a point, and I took a taxi down to the bus station, I needed to be in Cape – Coast before a certain time elapsed. It was my first touchdown in Ghana, I knew no one and had no tour guide. Well, I wasn’t there as a tourist.’ I successfully got to the bus station and quickly secured a seat. There I was praying not to share space with a huge person; I am such a petite lady. My prayer brought me the hugest mate, not only was he huge but very tall too and he ended up being the sweetest person alive that day, as he made certain to alight with me. Not only that, he took me to the right places, helped me through all I had to do, suggested the hotel to stay and made sure I settled in for that evening before he went off his way. Before you conclude that he was probably an angel and that may be the reason he disappeared… We spoke on phone, two to three times after that day, but never got to see ourselves ever again.
I’ve had too many examples of such events during the length of my life thus far. All of this has brought me to a place of intense appreciation for value as regards every individual I ever met and will ever meet, cos sometimes, it’s only for that moment. And it has also made me really resolve to be in my Here-and-Now, consciously and deliberately. I just make sure I explore ‘in my own way’ all I can with the individual and the total experience: that way I do not feel bad, sad, or have regrets when it all ends, because, most times, it does end for sure and forever.
I will keep on making sure that I do not take any moment for granted, with the full awareness that anything can change in a minute. For some, it’s a lifelong partnership until transition ‘not inferring to married folks.’ No, but all kinds of relationships. I accept this reality with gladness which sometimes hurt, but I don’t let it linger, for it is part of life to have seasons underneath the sun when we are to embrace and then depart.
For everyone who came into my life and left, I am grateful.
For those still here, I am grateful.
For those who will leave soon, I am grateful.
For those I am yet to meet, I am grateful.
Life goes on now, doesn’t it?
Embrace while you can. Leave room for a joyful departing when the time is up, cos sometimes, you just can’t fight it. Look forward to fresh encounters. And most of all show gratitude for each moment accepting it as a gift to explore one more complex, simple, or complexly simple individual. Don’t waste your time. Don’t waste anyone’s time. You do not have a forever here on earth. So, live and don’t cling. Make memories and be happy.
Say Hello. Say your goodbyes. And don’t forget to say thank you, when all is said, done and fully experienced. Or not. *Wink.