Forever... A time or a place?
Beauty comes in many forms. The beauty that is within a heart and the beauty that is seen in the things that surround us are but a few of the images of love and life. Recently, I was privy to both and it left me with a question. Is "forever" is place or a time? Perhaps I should step back a few paces to show you what created the question for me.
I recently took a vacation to the Black Hills in South Dakota. This was not my first trip there nor my first time, taking in the beauty that is such a huge part of the Forest. Stationed there during my tour of duty in the Air Force 30 years ago, I took in all the serenity that is ever present. This is where I met, fell in love and married the love of my life. Twenty-five years would be shared by her and I before she was called to Heaven. In the memories of the mountains, lakes, hills and forests, she was there. I wondered before I left on vacation what my thoughts and reactions would be when I saw the majesty of the area again.
I didn't return alone. I brought with me my new love and my new family as well as my daughter from my first loves relationship. As I passed the places that Sheila and I had shared and loved as one, my head was filled with a mix of emotions. I saw Sheila in the glimmering waters of each lake we went by. I could hear her laughter and her voice as I walked through the trees. She was there, at each and every breath-taking scene that opened up in front of me. Trees reached up to the heavens as if to point to her and others bent low to the ground, as if to try and touch me from heaven.
It was at the very top of the mountains, a place where I could see thousands of acres of pure magnificence, that a question came to mind. I had stepped back into what was to be a forever for me. I had returned to a place that held more memories than I imagined. Like the winds that blew through the spaces between the mountain-tops, my thoughts too were swept in all directions. I asked myself this question. Had I stepped back into a "time" or a "place?" Was the forever I clung so tightly to a timed emotion or was it in fact recreated because of where I was?
Time is a word we define as a period or era, a stage or stint that passes with each moment. We define a place as location, an area or a position we have been in. And forever... forever is the word we use to describe something that often has no beginning and Never has an end. Does that make it a time or a place? Perhaps, it is a bit of both. As I looked out over the tree-tops, I saw forever. It seemed to be a "place" that my heart would always be. The memories of a life gone by caused me to cry, silently, where no one but heaven could see the tears. The Forest and Hills and mountains will always hold a place for me that is only mine and Sheila's, for there is a beauty that only she and I lived.
The sites also held for me a time, a time in which my life was filled with pure love and being In Love. It was an era that has since passed in all aspects and places except for my heart and soul. My new love fills my heart with beauty that is ours. She takes me to places that only she can take me. We made memories that will always and forever be hers and mine to share. Time for us is now, the present and the future. These things I know to be true.
But, the question still remains in part, unanswered for me. Is forever a time or is it a place? Does forever last only until it is replaced by a new time, a new forever? Will the memories I shared with Sheila become a place that I go when I am alone? Was it the re-visit to the beautiful Black Hills that took me back in time or have I now discovered that Forever is truly exactly that... Forever. A time that often has no beginning and Never, ever, has an end.