They’d been climbing up the trail for several moments and already her boyfriend had wandered quite far ahead. The girl, feeling a bit spent both physically and mentally from the weekend, decided not to keep expending energy trying to catch up. She wanted to enjoy the hike, and take in the sights so different and vast from what she was used to, being a city girl. She stopped and contemplated for a moment, before finally accepting her decision, and stepped off the path into a clearing. The ground turned instantly to rounded stone and she found herself at the top of the first hill, hidden from view by the tree line along the trail, quietly and secretly overlooking the pleasant picturesque ski village just below, and the small lake a bit further out.
Her breath caught ever so slightly in awe at the beauty before her. She settled herself down on the rock; feeling its coolness against her bare legs. She sat cross legged and considered briefly how upset her boyfriend would be when he realized she wasn’t behind him, but she also felt detachment when she also noted he wouldn’t even notice for some time. He’d been distant and unaware of her that afternoon for whatever reason, lost in his own thoughts.
Their trip had been a pleasant one, considering, but they’d both recently come to find some things about the other that didn’t sit well with either of them. And those realizations had been weighing heavy on her; one of them for her being his lack of attentiveness or apparent care, as again confirmed by his walking so far ahead of her. His detachment and self-centeredness to the point of being ignored was unfamiliar to her, and made her feel small and unimportant.
She decided not to dwell on that thought, and released a breath she hadn’t noticed she’d been holding. She focused instead on the scene laid out before her. And felt instant calm. She felt both completely detached from it, completely foreign to the tourists in the village below who seemed so happy, and yet, also completely one with it in its entirety. Soon she found her breath slowed and regular, she felt calm and at peace with her place in the design she was observing; for the first time that weekend and likely much longer, she noted briefly.
Her eyes wandered to the lake, and she soon found herself transfixed watching the stunning pattern of sparkles the mid-Spring sun was creating on the surface of the water. The girl began imaging that each of the flickering lights were souls; each one living out their life as individual flickers. And she heard a voice, internal and yet separate from herself, say, “Individually each of those lives seem insignificant, there are so many that one alone blinks and is gone before it is noticed. But if even just one of those flickers did not exist, the result would be less than, and if enough of them did not exist, there would be only darkness”. She imagined how a timeline of events for each and every single one of those lights had to happen in sequence for the existence of the next and so on and so forth, infinitely.
The impact of the significance, the weight and feel of it, nearly crushed her for a moment. It felt huge. A thought and idea so large and important that it felt like it could break the mind in half. But then, as quickly as she felt overwhelmed by it, she just as quickly accepted it; a simple decision that instantly lifted the weight that the realization had created and replaced it with Light.
She stayed just a moment more, but began to feel restless, she stood. Her anxiety and sadness now replaced with excitement and energy, and she stepped onto the path again and walked straight into her boyfriend, when she realized how long it must have taken him to walk ahead, notice her not there, and circle back to get there at that exact moment, she was amused. He looked at her, sort of baffled, before saying, “Where did you go?” to which she said, “I was behind you all along” she held back a smirk, and held firm, she knew he wouldn’t have known differently with how absent minded he’d been about her presence and this was easier than fighting. He seemed to accept that, and they continued on their hike. This time it did not bother her that he walked ahead or paid her no mind. She had enough joy in her own experience that his presence neither added to it, nor took away from it.
And she understood then that was how it was supposed to be. Though it is always better when someone adds to your joy, it is unimportant when they don’t. She was in control of whether or not that translated to someone taking away from her joy. And she knew she wouldn’t easily allow anyone to take away from her joy that moment on.
The relationship lasted only a few months longer, and though it was a rocky ending in many ways, she never forgot that moment, or her significance, again.