The decision to depart

It came from your curiosity. Then mingled with your vitality. There it was pulled towards pictures of where to go, who to see, how to get there and what you’d find. And then it happened: the decision to depart. It’s a moment where the possibility of future paths are all etched in colour; where optimism comes as naturally as the shades of a rising sun.

Now ideas and opportunities begin to bounce off one another and collide. Some pair together. Others break away. Each one vies for your attention like fawning stars on a clear bright sky. And from the constellations of your ideas comes a smile that envelops around a plan that takes coherent form. And where the ideas connect there your mind will rest. The decision has been made.

Your decision came from dreams but now leads to pragmatic thought. For what better way to remind yourself of what is necessary than your own two feet and a bag with limited dimensions. You’ll take all that you need, and little more.

The warmest coat is the first to come along, the one that’s already seen many a journey. And though well worn the memories it brings bear no extra weight. It squeezes into space with ease, despite its size, almost as if to help you pack. Maybe it’s as excited as you are. Or maybe it’s just the legacy of having been stuffed in many a small space many times over.

Your gnarliest clothes now follow and clamber to your attention. They’re laid out to reminisce, having last been together the last time you headed out. Your rugged shoes march out with ostentatious vigour. They’re back from the cupboard’s dark corner, and still bear those old scuff marks with pride. Only the most courageous socks dare to come along.

With shelter sorted you turn to sustenance, and the food with the most calories now make a triumphant return. There’s no room for dietary constraints where you’re going. So you pack another slab of deliciousness, in case of emergency of course. You stash them in every cranny, and in a blackened pot that’s been the bedrock of your culinary expertise. You’ve yet to encounter a meal you couldn’t prepare in it.

And you’ve yet to encounter a bag that could hold everything you wanted to bring. So you abandon all that is inessential. Cables and screens you leave behind, and in their place are a torch to see, a book to read, a scarf to wear and a sky to breathe. There the simplest items will turn into treasures, and under the sun and the stars you’ll see what it is that you really need.

And the friends you favour most come along, for the decision to depart is seldom made alone. They’re the ones you can spend the simple times with, and that’s the best kind of companionship you know. When lost you’ll be guided by their laughter. When cold you’ll have something to share. And when you find your path at last, you’ll smile from having them there.

The decision to depart is a decision to arrive, for it’s a decision to begin anew. Every place you’ll see in pictures, with each picture adding their colours onto you. And then one day, when present turns to past, they’ll be the pictures you recall when the idea to depart starts, once more, from memories of a place that you once knew.