Two years ago, I woke up energetic. Next thing I know, my bag was packed and I’m on a 2-hour journey to Harriman State Park. You see, hiking in New York is difficult. Not only is getting out of the city difficult, ti’s always tricky to find a) early-morning risers, b) adventurers who are ready on a whim, c) someone whose idea of a day under the sun is more about mountaintops and less about rooftops. Halfway down my second mountain, lost on a trail I did not anticipate to be the trickiest of them all, I was greeted by a man, John, who lives nearby and runs in the mountains. “These ‘hills’ are my backyard”, he told me. He knows them like the back of his hand. As we journeyed down the trail together, I realized that it was just us – two individuals whose universes met at a particular point in time. It hit me how pure and organic our fleeting friendship was and for the first time in a while, I felt completely myself, at ease and most importantly, at peace. “I’m sure I’ll see you again one day”, he said as we bid our farewells and each went our separate way.
There is a Japanese word, Aware (pronounced ah-wah-reh) that means “a fleeting moment of fading beauty”. As I sat, feet dangling off the side of a cliff, I gazed slowly out at the horizon and suddenly felt very small. Isn’t is such a bittersweet thought that all those seconds you grasp onto so tightly, those seconds that have changed you so much as an individual, taught you how to love and live, only exist in the fading memories of your past? Isn’t it ironic how those little moments, the ones that you hold so close to your heart, are easiest hellos but hardest goodbyes?
Sent from Harriman State Park, New York