On that star-struck evening, the Northern Lights brought their fire and skies erupted – a brawl of colors…streaking reds and purples until the hills below became illuminated…and magic had its way with the night.
She and I had decided to drive up to the north country and witness the event. We were best friends and lovers. But our long-term relationship had hit the wall. Mired in conclusions about each other, there seemed to be no edge of discovery anymore. Our love had become a place to settle…not an on-going creation. Whatever was holding us back was unknown and refused to surrender.
Tonight, however, as we made our way along the winding road, the surreal beauty cast everything in different light. For most of the journey we had driven in silence, mesmerized by stars so close we could hear their songs, feel their fire, know their stories. Finally, as the rhythm of tires hummed on the open road, the small talk began…turned to issues…then came around to us.
One hand on the wheel, tepid coffee in the other, I was just turning to look at her, when something caught my eye…and my heart froze. Up ahead, a deer and her fawn appeared in the middle of the road. Haggard and thin, she turned soft, bewildered eyes towards us as the fury of white headlights hurtled towards her. Slamming the brakes, the car lurched to the right. Tonnage of metal and torque and speed, skidded, flipped over…landing right side up by the side of the road – a cry of terror, a crash…then absolute silence.
Shaken, giddy and bruised, we untangled ourselves slowly from seat belts, stumbled out of the car. The road was empty, the phantom deer gone. Miraculously, we were still alive.
Turning, we gazed at each other incredulously. And for an instant, the violent alchemy of astonishing beauty, vulnerable life and near-death experience hit a pressure point…and everything stood still. In that pause, something ineffable passed through me. Like a slow bolt of lightning…
I looked at her for the first time with true recognition. Insight appeared without memory…She and I had done this before; loving deeply, then pulling back at the last second – something beautiful and haunting between us, encased in mystery, buried somewhere in the past. And we would find and lose each other, again and again through time, until the karma was resolved…and our circle could remain unbroken.
The state was fragile. Whether it lasted a minute or a lifetime, it had to be seized…and celebrated. Shell-shocked and euphoric, I took her arm and began to walk out amidst the meteor showers. And we would keep walking, on and on…until the twilight came to claim us, and we found another time and place to reconvene…and dance this dance again.