I never went to the mountains, since they were right there.
Just an hour away.
All through my childhood, through sun and rain, humid days and thundering nights, through summers of hot afternoons where I roamed in my backyard or played in the stream that ran right behind my home – oh yes, just a dozen feet; so close I could predict a warning about an emergency school closure just by gazing out of my window on a morning of incessant rains and gauging how deep the water ran that day. I would hear from friends of how beautifil the hills were, how people came from all over the country to climb and gape at the marvellous view, but I felt no compulsion to go and do the same; it was right there, was it not? I could go anytime.
And then I moved away, and craved for a glimpse of green leaves, cool showers and the misty tops that stood steadfast in all directions. I would never climb the mountain that was always right there, because it was always right there.
I walk up to the terrace of my home of two years – oh wait, did I say home? I meant a sanctuary, a temporary space where I live, hibernate, thrive, till the next city calls. I walk up to the terrace, for the first time in two years, and am greeted by the coolest breeze and the warmest sunset, a glaze of yellow in a sea of lavender, spreading across the square white housetops, some stained brown with algae and age, and forlorn isles of green. I cannot spot the sea in the horizon.
The sea that I never visit, since it is right there.
It is, isn’t it?
Yes, it is.
The mountain is still there, and so is the sea.
It was I that never was.