When I first met you, I was in the spring of life, immersed within the joy of my own naïveté. I looked at you with eyes that presumed to know you. I listened to you with ears that assumed to hear you. I read you with an inexperience that rushed to judged you.

Do you still hold that against me? The times I listened without hearing, looking without seeing, reading without comprehending…

In summer you stayed with me. We conversed still, searching for our shared horizon. You were gentle in my understandings, patient in my conclusions. And though I failed to listen, you kept the conversation alive for both of us.

Do you remember those days? The times when I came up painfully short, barely able to register your pain, your frustration, your disappointment…

As life continued, and summer gave way to fall, our conversations manifested a deeper understanding of you. I moved toward you, cautiously, into a new horizon of your being. And though I stepped forward to finally meet you, I foolishly kept one foot stuck in my prior understandings. I met you, but only partially so, before retreating one last time into the comforts of familiarity.

Do you wonder why I held back? We came so far together, and yet I still couldn’t fathom the identity you carried, the things that marked your being…

Now, in the winter of my life I finally meet you, the real you, previously hidden by my own prejudices and opinions. In opening myself I discover the horizon of a second naïveté of joy and friendship, one not inhibited by my own shortcomings. Now, at the end, I look at you with eyes that know you. I listen to you with ears that hear you. I read you with an experience that holds back judgement.

Do you ever think about why I waited so long? To think what we could’ve done together had I only opened myself to you sooner…

Photo by Marco Bianchetti on Unsplash

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