Walking several thousand feet ahead of him atop the crater of the volcano my legs began trembling. Stopping I looked back at him and he waved, yelling at me to keep going. It had been like that all the way up the mountain.

Me walking ahead and him walking behind to encourage me. Me turning around to encourage him as he took a different route yet attempted to stay in sight. There were periods I didn’t see him but knew of the briar traps and resting places in the denser parts of the path. I felt him and knew he needed to be there so we managed a way to send messages using mainly birds and butterflies but sometimes bees and flowers. Miles and miles, twists and turns it went like that.

Seeing his silhouette, I realized he’d taken yet a different path and as I neared the opening feeling overcome by the scent of lava it occurred to me that it was his support that led me to continue on when the heat along the way had been unbearable and feeling insurmountable.

This time I stopped for a different reason.

Knowing he’d felt unbearable heat also and overcome insurmountable odds I wondered what would become of us if I stepped inside completely out of sight, whether he’d head back down the other side without me, whether we’d go on like this forever, seeking reassurance and confirmation that we are here supporting the others growth, loving one another regardless where it leads but stopping short of saying anything more yet knowing, believing or placing hope on what is not being said.

All I believe in is love and sometimes that’s hard for folks to explain when lava is tearing apart their insides or making them unrecognizable to even themselves but love can temper anything, even a volcano.

Pausing I kept myself busy while waiting for him so that we could go the rest of the way together, walking side by side.