I went back to Paradise this morning, probably for the last time. I wandered in the silence as the waves crashed against the sea wall and the waterfall thundered in the distance, and inevitably I pulled out my mobile phone and started clicking memories.
I remembered the times Tasha and I had danced slowly on her deck while the blades of her helicopter turned slowly in the sea breeze, the motion soothing me after a long day in the classrooms of another universe.
I crossed the suspension bridge on tiptoe, lest the clack of my foolish heels on the wooden boards would disturb the sleeping fish below, mist from the waterfall already moistening my skin.
Entering the cave where an animal skin had provided a comforting cuddle spot, the echoes of our voices resounded mockingly in the ears of my memory, and I kicked some pebbles aside and started to climb the rocky pathway to the plateau where grasses and flowers grow and where we had danced in the gentle rain.
I took up a dancing pose but there was none to take my arm and my waist, so I slumped my shoulders again, clicked my mobile phone a few more times and climbed the precarious wooden ladder to the meditation platform.
Taking the familiar pose on the mat, looking down across the grasses, the rocks and the waterways to the house far below, the sun setting on the horizon, my heart stilled a little with the beauty of what beautiful Tasha had created. I sat for a while, knowing that it was probably for the last time, the waterfall thundering behind me now, fine spray soaking my thin cotton top to my back and matting my hair around my cheeks.
Rising reluctantly, I climbed the last ladder to the one spot we never managed to find time to visit together, a tiny dining pavilion on the highest peak above the valley, and once again I gazed out over the whole vista and wept for Paradise lost.
Though we had tried again since I last wrote about her, and some more sweet memories were made, Tasha and I have parted now and soon some other will likely share paradise with her. My heart proved too fragile for this beautiful, sensitive, clever and amazing girl, my European sweetheart who I will never forget. We parted on good terms, with no acrimony, but parted we have.
This writing and my pictures here I want to stand as my permanent tribute to her creativity and the love I will always feel for her… my daisuki though aishiteru can be no more. Paradise was a wonderful setting for all we shared, Tasha, and the more precious for being the product of you own heart and your own imagination.
Addendum: Within a few hours of my solo photo visit, Tasha and I were back in each other's arms on her deck, and later that day we danced together in the mountain top dining pavilion. We look to the future with hope, very aware of our own frailty.