A brief, meandering look into my feelings of wanderlust.
|My homeland is a place for sunflowers. Like little soldiers, they stand in neat rows for dozens of acres, spreading across the land. Each taking enough sunlight for itself, but each never growing enough to crowd out its neighbor. They dance lightly in the breeze and look the perfect bride in their sway. The people too follow the decree of the flower. Each with enough land to breathe evenly and relax in the fruits of their labors. Even if those fruits are as light and airy as the wind which constantly sweeps through the plains.
I am not homesick; I am tired. For all the beauty of a river valley, it does not truly feel like home. Nothing does. I have seen the United States and I have found it wanting, it misses some ingredient that is beyond my explanation. The Christians would instantly say I am missing God, but I doubt it. I have known God, and have walked that path. I find such paths to be pompous, filled only with the grand cathedrals of the past and the most hateful people of today. What God would live in the cold stone when so much real estate exists among the sunflowers?
I traded in the dirt and roses for the cold concrete of the skyscraper in one of the largest cities in the world. The city is as beautiful as the rivers of home. Beautiful in a human sense. The soft sound of a piano from my neighbor's clumsy hands sounds like a symphony to me. The little flaws in his practice and the pauses of frustration are human enough to make me fall in love. Honorable mentions go to the lovely violinist who plays on the corner of my street. I always pause under that person's window when I happen to pass in their practice. It reminds me of square dancing and my mother's homecooked meals. I never was good at dancing, but girls never seem to care much, even when my younger self would step on their toes. At least I had learned to avoid their feet in my twenties.
My apartment has a glorious view of the lights of the city. They will have to do for stars. For only a dozen or so of those soldier on in the heavens. One twinkles brightly, and I know its not a star at all, but the light of venus. I stare intently, looking for the slightest twinkle of brightness in the vaguely red night sky.
Perhaps it was a miracle that a streak should fill my vision. A bright burning shot of white light across the sky, and then nothing. Unblinking, I stared for what felt like an eternity, eventually, my eyes weighed more than my interest and I gave up the night. I went back to stare at Venus again a few nights later, but the gate to my roof had been padlocked closed, and I grew a little sad. I had been intending to bring the ruined rooftop garden back to life as soon as the funds and seasons could align properly.
My peers were not interested in star gazing anyway. "you're crazy, theres no shooting stars in the city." My friend, who's sharp features and big eyes earn her stares as she walks down the streets of China.
"Oh I don't know about that, you live here right?" I say with a wink.
"This is why my boyfriend hates you! You're such a flirt."
"Oh please, I've never met your boyfriend for one, and for two, I'm not friends with your boyfriend."
"You're not friends with me either." She says sticking out her tongue, "No one likes you, after all."
"Then you spend way too much time with a loser." I reply, my voice growing sleepy with a yawn.
Silence drifts between us, and I feel like I love her for an instant. The same love that I feel for the violinist and the piano player. A beauty, just out of reach, pointless to love but all the more loved for it. I laugh at myself and let the feelings die and subside.
Those bittersweet moments of distant yearning for but a moment fill the gap in my heart. To appreciate a beautiful person, is that why I have traveled so far?
I look again as she walks up the stairs in front of me and laugh gently at her as she struggles with her door lock.
"Oh shut up, at least I don't lock myself out." she says smiling up at me as I pass her apartment and continue up the stairs.
"Goodnight." I reply taking one last glance at a shooting star, barely opening a too heavy apartment door.