While I don’t remember the day you were born, I do remember the day you first entered my life. It was a cold, crisp winter day almost 7 years ago. The air was sharp and biting, igniting a fire in my lungs with every breath inhaled and manifesting a exquisite tendril of mist, a translucent, hazy plume of dragon’s whisper, with every exhale. I’d watch as it vanished and reappeared with each breath. A misty metronome, the beats quickening with my excitement. With my swelling heart.
I can still hear the snow squeaking with every step. That sound, letting me know I was getting closer to you. Distance evaporating. Just like the evidence of the last breath. It was a magical day. A day of new beginnings.
And then I saw you.
You were so little. Tiny. You fit in my hands. You held so much promise. So much potential. I couldn’t take my eyes off of you. Magnetic.
Would I be able to handle the responsibility? It wasn’t a small job. The feedings. The cleanings. The nurturing. It was a life-long responsibility, and I knew it.
Was I up for that type of challenge? Would I be able to look past myself, my ego, my self-centredness to care for another being that needed so much care?
Like all people thrust suddenly into this position, I was nervous and excited at the same time. That giddy sensation deep in the pit of my stomach, flip-flopping like a carnival ride controlled by that teenager who has just discovered that pure love for the first time, unable to smoothly transition from start to stop, from slow to go. Their mind focused on the new sensations of love. Jerky and sudden. Zig. Zag. Bursting.
And it was clear how much I loved you. How much I love you. You were taken care of. You flourished. Growing big and strong. Robust. Anyone who saw you would comment on your health. Your strength and vigor. You made so many people smile with your antics.
But with this passage of time, things changed. I had to move. There wasn’t enough room for you. With broken heart, I had to send you away. To a good place. To a safe place. To a place I knew you’d be well taken care of. Likely even loved as I’ve loved you.
It would be temporary. Until I could get you back. Until we could be together again.
We stood face to face and I told you all of this. Gently whispered it to you, my voice trembling as the words tumbled out, tears cresting over my downcast eyes. In your hunched, defeated stance I knew you heard me. Understood me. Even if you couldn’t say the words. You looked so sad. And it killed me inside. I was eviscerated in a way that words can’t describe, the bottom falling, drifting into the dark abyss.
The months passed, almost four of them now, and we have finally been reunited. Today. My eyes lit up when I saw you, the joy crinkling up the corners of my eyes. Real joy. The purest joy. Excitement like that first day washed over me, bathing me in euphoria. You had grown so much. Holding you in my hands, I could feel your heft. You’d eaten well. Drank plenty. I knew it then, and know it now, you were in very good hands. It was for your own good, and it was evident.
But we are together again, now.
Mowgli, my not so little yucca plant, I missed you.