All is quiet except for the songbirds. Evidence of yesterday’s celebration neatly piles on countertop and table. I sip strawberry-infused water and gaze at the verdant green just outside, a colorful counterpoint to the grey I left behind.
I have been relieved of many of my burdens. The stone hunkers in a place of honor, its painted face unmarred by travel, while the more subtle weight of arriving safely slipped away by degrees.
A delayed train blessed my companion and I with plenty of time to navigate the enormous metropolitan station, eat and swap stories. No goodbyes were said as the staff separated us by destination, a tiny pebble of fear soon dislodged by the booming announcement of each city as we came upon it.
Now, I debate whether to retrieve the ephemeral stones of the heart. Laughter and long conversations dispel much of the weight, yet the possibility of picking up those old worries remains.
I think for today, I’ll leave them where they lie.
I soon realized that no journey carries one far unless, as it extends into the world around us, it goes an equal distance into the world within. -Lillian Smith-