Love Story

Love Story

In northeastern Tanzania lies Lushoto, a tiny mountainside village perched in the lush, green heart of the Usambara Mountains. There, on the front porch of a small cottage, sat the Girl. She sat alone, early one morning, to watch the sun rise and the day unfold.

The Girl had long brown hair, soft brown eyes, and a heavy heart. She watched a singular cloud of morning Mist move slowly, deliberately, delicately, magically around the top of the nearest mountain side. The Girl had come here to heal her heart by filling it with beauty.

You see, the Girl had two true loves – one was the Boy, the other was the Mountains. The Boy she had lost, so she turned to the Mountains for their guidance and wisdom to help her release the Boy as he had requested.

The Mist moved – danced. It kissed the tree tops briefly before moving its gentle embrace to the next cluster. It was barely perceptible, this dance, and yet it was constant and eternal. She watched.

The Girl’s eyes filled with tears and her heart filled with joy as her mind moved backward through the memories of years spent with the Boy.

Their first kiss. The love letters he wrote to sustain her during travel; the anticipation and delight and the newness of love that she felt each time she opened the next. The sweetness of a Valentines trip to the city, where they held hands and walked together for a weekend. The Boy’s introductions of simple, country living, of camping, of love under the night sky. The Boy’s gifts of sight and creativity as captured and expressed in paint and sketch. The endless nature walks together in appreciation. The deep conversations through which they explored new ideas and beliefs. The years of unfailing respect and understanding, extended and received.

As the Mist moved, the Mountain spoke to her of Change – its illusion, its constancy, its insistence to forever turn the wheel by which all things come to pass. It said Change does not equate with loss, as the human heart is so tempted to believe. It said Change ensures that things remain by always moving toward the new. It is through new form that a previous state is forever protected from becoming lost. It is by Changing Form that All Things Continue.

The Girl touched her hair, and then her heart. She willed her heart to understand that memories of love deep within cannot be lost or destroyed. She willed it to remember that the Wheel of Change, although sometimes painful in its turning, always carries the blessing of another Universal Truth. That Truth is Hope.

The Girl sighed deeply, kissed her open hand, and blew gently toward the Mountain. She went inside.

The Mist lifted.

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[This story was written in October 2005, while sitting on the front porch of a mountainside cottage in Lushoto, Tanzania.]

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