in the beginning, there was the Word; and in the beginning there were nothing but words. nothing but words of love and faith and pain being passed back and forth between us. every hour of every day. almost to the point where i couldn’t concentrate on anything that wasn’t his throat. his voice. his lips. drawing me back to a part of me i didn’t know i cared about so much. but something in the universe felt that this is not what i need right now.
i don’t know that i’ll ever understand why someone as good as him wasn’t written to be mine, but then i remind myself that i wasn’t written to be his, either. it's easy to understand closure when you word it like that.
and slowly, we grow back together. sure, there will be awkward moments where we discuss everything except feelings. sure, there will be moments when i question if his energy complements mine, or if i am nothing to him except a reminder of broken promises of “forever.” even though he’s letting his guard down for me again, i feel like it is i who is weaving a tapestry around my heart. i’m sure one day i’ll understand why he’s coming back when i am healing and not healed. why he came back as soon as i arrived at the quiet room. but still have to pull out the key. turn the lock. lock my heart before the darkness arrives. i guess i’m afraid of what lies beyond the door. but at least he’ll be there if ever i need someone to call on.
and slowly, we grow back together. i’ve spent my summer looking at trees. some grow together, thick trunks sprouting wide and strong. others become snags, barren on the forest floor. i’ve watched as ivy attaches itself to the trees that are just beginning to grow. i have been the ivy that has impeded the growth of beautiful trees. but that doesn’t mean i can’t cut myself away for the time being to make sure they still bloom. even if that blooming happens without me.
and slowly, we grow back together. on the forest floor lies the snags of the people we used to be. my forestry instructor says that snags are often cut away to make room for better trees. so maybe we will never go back to exactly the way we used to be, back to those weekday nights when i fell asleep at two thirty am drunken on conversations of faith and overfamiliarity. but we can plant this tree now and watch how it grows. maybe we cannot grow together in the love i imagined, but rather grow back in the love of understanding. sometimes in understanding of where the other comes from. we come from two lands ravaged by centuries of settlers staking claim over our language, our land, our faith. ya habibi that’s why i was drawn to you because i feel your people’s pain inside my bones. it echoes of solidarity against my chest until i end up advocating for your people in spaces where your voice cannot reach. i knew i had a voice; you taught me how i could use it. and as this tree sprouts, i pray our voices will continue to find each other in the dark -- in hoarse whispers that transcend borders and bodies and beliefs. i know in time they will.
and slowly, we grow back together. it’s true, what they say about leaves growing from deciduous bareness. they will grow back no matter how long the winter seems, even if the winter is the hot sun beating down your neck in an unfamiliar city. sweat pooling on your face as you cry out for help in an adoration chapel to a God you’re not sure hears you. but now you’ve taught me He does.
and slowly, we grow back together. it’s true, what they say about everything being alright in time. this year has taught me that there are things you will lose to the fire -- photos, promises, people you wanted to give your heart to. this summer taught me that sometimes you yourself are the vehicle of loss that ends up taking people’s hearts away. but they will clear out like snags to teach you something. make way so you can love them better the next time you encounter their souls on this planet.
and slowly, we grow back together. if acceptance is a quiet room then it is true, i have arrived at it. i guess i’m afraid of what lies beyond it. i thought i’d have more people behind me as i turn the lock. but for right now, i am content with understanding that he is in my corner, for whatever is coming up next. i pray that as i open the door, that this might be my chance to grow in love, and understanding, and to get it right this time around.