Now that I have finally reverted to my normal self, it's only you I wait for. We both strayed silently from who we were. We were astray from ourselves and from the precious relationship we shared. Now I have subtly sauntered back to where we once stood with our wings combined. You aren't here yet. My eyes look around for you but you aren't anywhere that my eyes could possibly reach. I had always dreamt of this day, the day that I could be myself again..but never had I foreseen this. I could not envision and still cannot believe that even after my arrival to a place I like to call home, I would come home to your absence. You aren't here, for you still lurk quietly around. I wonder, are you searching for your way back? Or have you acclimatized to a new home? Dear bird of mine, the endless cold winter is now over. We migrated so far away, but not so far that we cannot fly back. Dear bird flutter your wings gracefully in the direction of our home, for I still wait for you. I will wait forever.
We could feel the invigorating summer be drained of its glory...both Fiery and I started to imagine the days we would have to spend in flight to evade the coldness that would soon take over this world. The summer lasted almost endlessly, but even endlessly had an end hiding within it. We knew that after all the joy that we shared together on this tree, we'd have to move away from it. For despite our tenacity to our joy, we knew that life had it seasons that would rotate forever. There was no escape to the phases life had to offer us, and neither did we need that escape. We both would venture together to another home, leaving this one behind. We didn't worry because we knew home wasn't this very tree, home was the feeling in our hearts when we flew in the open air together.
Saying goodbye to our special tree, Fiery and I linked our wings and began to fly far off. I could see the tears trickling down her tiny face. It felt like I was looking into a mirror, as I felt the very same tears race down my face. We were like that, Fiery and I, we grew together often mirroring the tiny graces of each other.
As we flew for a few days, taking tiny breaks, we forgot about how our previous tree even looked. I tried hard to muster an image of my treasured home inside the eyes of my mind but I could not do so. Each time I imagined a branch, the image somehow extended into a different tree - it resembled any tree I passed. Home wasn't this physical place, for I could not even remember such a place. I knew that as long Fiery and Arie flew side by side, no gust of wind or lash of rain could pull us away from home.
On the fifth day of our everlasting flight, the lashing rain began to burst. Each droplet of sparkling rain felt like a whip against my wings. I soon realized it was not rain, this was hail. Fiery turned around, looking absolutely frightening and flummoxed, she could not think of what to do to escape the pain.
"Fiery...we need to find shelter," the rest of the communication happened between our eyes. I quickly flew underneath the leaves of the closest tree I could find. I closed my eyes waiting for time to pass.
When I finally opened my eyes again, I was told by another bird that we were only a few hours away from our new home. This would be the home where Fiery and I would ensconce on the flowery branches for the next few months. As I began to fly I realized that I had been so lost in dreaming about how Fiery and I would spend the upcoming days that I did not realize Fiery was nowhere to be seen. I searched through the entire flock of us birds, but I could not find her. I even slowly returned to the tree where I wilted into sleep on yesterday's tormenting night, but I could not find her anywhere. She was lost.
After trying as hard as I could, I thought perhaps Fiery had gotten a head start and I should fly ahead with the rest of the flock to find her. But when I opened up my wings to fly, I could see no flock. I had spent so long trying to find Fiery, I had even lost myself. Where was I? Where was she? Where was home? Home was certainly nowhere here, this was loneliness in its cruelest form.
With no strength to fly in any direction, I fell asleep underneath the same leaves that kept me hidden from the hail yesterday. I shivered all night.
A few months passed in solitude. A tiny bird sat alone on an empty branch beneath the falling rain for months. The only companion I had was the bittersweet rain, who sometimes lashed me and sometimes lulled me to sleep. There was no sun. This was the transcendence of grief, to which I was the sole receiver it seemed. I worried about Fiery more than I did about myself, was she okay? Yet with passing time, I had become appallingly addicted to the melancholy that held me tightly. I mirrored the melancholy's grip on me, I held on tightly. For we both needed each other.
A few months later, I saw the same flock of birds coming my way- heading back home. My face lit up and sparkled with bliss, finally I was no longer lonely. Now I could be myself again. I immediately embraced my mother who seemed ever so worried for me. It was not everyday that a tiny bird went astray.
As we flew back to our old precious home, I could feel the heat emanating from the sun and filling up the entire sky. I asked my mother if she had heard anything of Fiery. Fiery had gone in the same direction as I had. In searching for me, she too had lost herself.
Upon reaching home, I sat on the branch where Fiery and I would usually sing our songs of bliss, where we'd whimsically serenade. I now only wondered when she'd come back home, for I knew that every lost bird is always found. The wait would be long, endless, but this branch was strong, it held me tightly. The other birds often explained that Fiery may be lost forever, but I knew she'd be back. For every season sees its end, and every bird her friend. I waited patiently. I still do.