All The World We Seek




Laura Elizabeth Horgan




 
© Copyright 2021 by Laura Elizabeth Horgan



Photo of hands sharing a joint.
                                

I've never been able to find God. But if the entity exists, I want to walk in the Holy man's shoes and pray to the heavens, become exalted in the sea of belief. My skin will be flushed, the thoughts that come and go will be tethered to the adoration of the self, and each connection we have as individuals to the great being.

But I don’t believe in God. 

There is no devout being to prey to. Just prey to yourself. There is only the nature of things. There is only the vivid emerald of the spring after it rains. The hot sand of a desert island beach that burns the flesh of the sole. The bleeding colours of a spring sunset sky that set fire to the clouds in hot blends of crimson.

My god is nature. My god is travel and the world.

The sound of summer is the symphony of lawn mowers from dusk to dawn. The act of which permeates the air with fresh cut grass along with smoked BBQs and aperol spritz. I sit under a ceiling of blue, not a cloud in the sky and watch the planes fly across the baby blue landscape, leaving white trails of cloud.

I wonder where the people on board the cylindrical object with wings are heading. A new life? A quick adventure? Are they heading home? Or going to say goodbye? The want to join them aches within. You travel once and the thirst is never quenched, the hunger never dulls. It waivers, maybe you even forget for a little while. But ultimately, you go back to it, crave it, lust salaciously after it.

I'm older now though. I don’t feel my age, but the reflection tells a different story. The woman who stares back has seen life, witnessed death and slowly has been fading away to time.

Sat with my granddaughter, a girl so similar to myself once, I decide to tell her a story. Tearing my eyes from the plane in the sky, and sipping my spritz I call her name softly, and her gaze meets mine over a book.

Would you like to hear a story?’

She grins, a Cheshire cat smile that answers without words. Eyes two bright gemstones, ready for a tale. I rarely tell stories now, but when I do, they are always of my youth, my life on the road.

Always grandma, always.’

Ok,’ I take breath and tap my chin with my finger. ‘Where to start….’

I fold my hands on my lap, getting comfortable and begin.

Salt was always in my hair, and sand always between my toes. I was on an island off the coast of Cambodia. On a boat that docked on a small wooden pier, as soon as your feet met land you were on to the sandy highway. Bars, restaurants, and hostels lined the beach front. Not a road or car in sight.

No need for shoes, just sunscreen and a bathing suit. Fisherman's boats lined the shore waiting for the tourist excursion or catch of the day. Travellers all alike walked in slow padded steps, tanned and beautiful. All a mystery, all of us going somewhere and nowhere at exactly the same time. All sharing a moment in one place, not caring about yesterday or tomorrow. Each day was like that, just another shot at happiness. Another content moment of being and not distracted by anything other than living.

Sharp and vivid memories of a cerulean sea, and powder white sand fringed with palm trees are prominent in my mind, how beautiful a place could be, how seemingly untouched in comparison with the rushed corporate world. I was twenty-five, only a few months into the greatest adventure of my life, and utterly captivated at every turn.’

I look away from the sky and at my granddaughter’s face, she squints in the sun, a finger book marking her place within her half-read novel. She smiles tenderly when I catch her eye, I reciprocate the gesture, and the sight of her, looking so much like my daughter steals my breath momentarily.

I was quite a dish in those days you know.’

My sweet, sweet child laughs.

I bet you were.’

Lean and tanned, I caught a few eyes, turned a few heads.’

So long ago and yet the image of those years is still so fresh within the confines of my mind. I unconsciously brush my lips with my index finger, remembering wild nights with wilder boys, and kisses that still felt as if they lingered there. As hot and heavy as the humid nights of south-east Asia.

I would smoke pot with strangers, spend long nights drinking island vodka and spinning under the stars, talking about life. All the mysteries yet to be discovered, for us and all of humanity.

The sea would sparkle sapphire when disturbed at night, music would carry over the beach and love and sex and conversation was rampant. I slept ten feet from the beach on a bed made up of more sand than linen.’

That sounds awful.’ My granddaughter giggles.

I laugh, ‘it was. Bed bugs too.’

Oh no.’ She cries as she covers her mouth.

All a part of the fun, my dear.’

I stop to take a sip of my beverage, wetting my lips and clearing my throat.

I met a man, and he –‘

Grandma.’ My Granddaughter protests, ‘what are you going to tell me?’ She grimaces, hiding her face behind her delicate hand, in an attempt to shield herself from some sordid affair.

Oh, hush now. You have me all wrong. This was not one of my many lovers.’

Between the gaps in her fingers, I spy her blushing, her innocence endearing to me.

He was one of the people I met along the way who enjoyed sharing his joint and his wisdom. The two went hand-in-hand.’

What wisdom did he share?’

I smile to myself, ‘that every thing I seek, is seeking me.’

My granddaughter furrows her brow, ‘that sounds familiar.’

I laugh to myself as I say, ‘that’s because it is. It is a famous quote by the poet Rumi. No doubt you have heard of his work before. But I hadn’t, not at twenty-five, I should have, but I hadn’t.’

So, this man stole his wisdom from a poet?’

The book that was in my granddaughters lap was now officially book marked and resting on the table.

No, my child. Wisdom in any form is often what we learn in life. Whether that be anecdotes or pearls, they are traded like secrets, or passed down like heirlooms. To be treasured, used, loved, and eventually handed on to someone else. Rumi is one of many whose words have been spoken, sung and whispered on the winds. Little droplets of knowledge to help other souls find their way.’

I watched as my granddaughter contemplated my words, ‘and what did you learn, from these words grandma?’

I sat in contemplation for a moment before I said, ‘that anything you want in life, no matter how big or small, if you believe in it, you will get it. That what you believe, you will achieve.’

I take another sip of my spritz, the condensation of the glass dripping on to the table, and place it back on top of the broken ring temporarily staining the table.

You are a magnet in this world my child, you are destined for your deepest desires. Never let them go. Never give up. Dream big because what if those dreams came true?’

The corner of my granddaughter’s mouth twitches upward, the world has become her oyster, her future full of endless possibilities and dreams and expectation.

Grandma.’

Yes, my child?’

I wish to be happy.’

I reach once more for my cold glass of spritz, the sides wet and chilling, I bring it to my lips and drink deeply. Once I am done, I wipe my mouth with a napkin, look my beautiful, charming granddaughter in the eye and say, ‘then happy you must be.’

At thirty years old I have travelled the world and lived and worked on foreign shores. I am fascinated by people and the life each individual lives, they make the greatest stories and they have created the greatest memories. Spending my decadent twenties flittering from party to party and eventually country to country, I came home in the middle of a pandemic and struggled with the reality of life back at the starting blocks. Forever a girl that spoke of being a writer with romanticism, I wonder and debate with myself every day If I have enough of what it takes to be what I want.

With regards to personal information, I live in a village not far from London. Currently I work for a Bank, after living and working in Australia for three years. My goals this year are to submit a short story/ writing piece every month into different competitions and I am writing a fantasy novel.

I never tried before, so here I am, fitting in words between lunch breaks at a job that has filled the stop gap between who I was and who I want to be. Maybe I have all the potential in the world, maybe I am a dreamer, but if I don’t try and go for this dream, I will never know and forever live a life of regret.




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