That was a part of a title of a fairy-tale I knew once. Details forgotten. Went something like this:
The hero went away from home to a land far away where he could remain young forever. It´s one of the few fairytales I know that end badly, because the hero decides to go back home, despite being warned that he would find everything changed and that he would age again, age even faster.
He gets on his stallion and flies into the air, years pass with the speed of hours, his hair grows white, but he arrives home. There everything is different, almost everyone he once knew had died while he had spent his preserved youth somewhere far away. Moments later his old fragile body draws its final breath.
I came back to Perugia last night. Opened my eyes and I was there again.
Odd pangs in my stomach, the buildings are the same, but I see so much more in them now, I stare at them so very carefully. This time I have to remember everything, to paint it all on my eyelids like on a canvas, so I can hang these images on my walls when I get back.
It is spring here. I never saw or lived Perugia like this.
Feeling a bit like an intruder whose time has passed.
A limb not recognized by the body anymore.
Yet there is peace, the peace of being able to walk these streets on a rainy spring day, the luxury of walking through all the streets I never got to walk earlier, of smelling the still blossoming trees. It seems almost as if spring got delayed a bit so I could catch it too.
Everything is oblivious to my ever having been gone. and having returned.
Most people I used to hang out with are gone. Some ten still remain, and I am thankful that I can still feel somehow at home due to them. But I miss Perugia with all of you, my dear friends.
It is the sacrifice we make when we leave. The risk we take, that of finding things gone, or changed without our permission.
But at least the air and the feel of it all is the same.
Give or take some flower buds.
Also, nothing beats the fact that I drank green tea on an old bulding roof with a new friend, while the rain covered our shoulders and words…