The fire is bright and a log crackles quietly. An owl calls and receives its answer shortly afterwards. Orange sparks fly into the nightsky until they disappear. Lost in thought, I watch as the flames light up towards the sky and eventually turn into smoke. The flickering of the flames is reflected in every pair of eyes directed at the fire. Deep peace and contentment fill me and a blissful smile creeps onto my lips. I feel a hand gently stroking my leg. Slowly, I release my gaze from the campfire and look into the green eyes of my girlfriend. When our eyes meet, Nat smiles happily and in love. I know this expression inside out and it is my favorite. "Everything okay?" Nat asks quietly, drawing circles on my knees that are lying on her legs. "It couldn't be better." I answer just as quietly and mean it that way. She nods and gives me a kiss on the forehead. When she pulls away, I leave my eyes closed for a moment before I look for her gaze again. The flame’s reflection sparkles in her eyes and holds me captive. She looks at me lovingly and there are a thousand words between us that she doesn't need to say for me to understand. I scoot a little bit closer and lean my head against her shoulder. She takes a strand of hair from my face and slowly starts playing with my hair. I close my eyes and enjoy the feeling of her closeness and love. Hopefully, I will never forget this moment. When I hear soft guitar chords, I open my eyes again and look for the source. Opposite us, a song is gently sung and someone plays guitar. After the intro, the player begins to sing quietly and with a slightly rough voice. Gradually, everyone joins in and we form a beautiful harmony. Not because we all sing perfectly, but because we simply live in the moment. Just living, not thinking about yesterday or tomorrow. Not even about the next few hours, we are just now. In a now, where the fire between us shines and warms and the music flies quietly into the forest. I feel almost weightless and infinite. Infinitely free and infinitely happy. The happy smile on my lips intensifies again when I feel a kiss on my hair. I cuddle closer to my girlfriend and let myself sink into her arms. Here, where nothing can harm me, where she keeps me safe. Where freedom is our limit and where we simply live. Without hustle and bustle and without coercion. The only feelings I feel are endless happiness and deep, infinite freedom. In the arms of my love and the gates of life open. Ready for any adventure that comes our way, as long as we never forget who we are and where we want to go.
© Daria Lehmann 2022-07-30