This story is about love for home, and the longing that comes with that love.
Once upon a time, a boy danced with the wind.
The sky was high, the mountain tall, the valley close, when the wind came. He had been traveling a long time when his caravan had finally made camp hours earlier. The dust and heat stuck to him like gnats to the camels, annoying but inevitable. He was far, so far, from the home he had made across the world. Yet he was so close now to the home he had been raised in.
That home had seemed like a dream to him for many years, a legend he had told friends and colleagues when asked why he eschewed certain norms, why he dressed in such a way, why he talked as he did. He saw the disbelief on their faces, and knew that for them his old home would never be a reality, and made the new familiar through the formation of new habits, the wear of the mundane.
Now, after many days of travel, he was home. But not quite, the mountains and the desert were familiar, but he was unable to journey all the way to the land he longed for. Instead he skirted it, going to the countries bordering as he remembered the language he had lost, forcing his tongue to twist in ways that had once been instinct. The customs that had been teased in his new home, that had gradually been worn away, were expected once again from him and he felt the posture change in the way we all do when we pretend to act as we did as children. To go home, was to remember. To go home, was to realize how many of his seemingly unique traits were that of one culture superimposed upon another, complicated even more by the child who did not know to which he belonged.
When he knew he wouldn’t be missed, he snuck away and climbed the mountain. He wanted to look from afar upon the places he missed so much. As he climbed the heat rose, yet he felt his burdens lifting as though impurities were cooked out of him. Once he reached the top, he looked as far as his eyes could go. And then he looked farther, beyond, straining to see across the desert, across the ocean, at the land he now called home.
For he finally knew with certainty it was possible to have belonging in two places, and to love both dearly as the places he called home. As the wind rose, he danced.
~for a friend~