There can never be too many stories about friendship. And those that speak of silences and farewells, and the loneliness that they may bring.
After having marvelled at the simplicity and profoundness of Little Bird,
here’s another favourite from the house of Enchanted Lion publishers –
The Lion and the Bird by Marianne Dubuc.
About a solitary lion, who spends time tending to his garden.
Until one day…
… he finds an injured bird.
He may have to care for the bird not just for the moment, but for the season,
since the bird’s flock has flown away, and winter is around the corner.
The lion gives the bird his home to share.
He offers much more than his home and food; he offers what is most important for healing – his companionship. His time.
The silences in this book are beautiful. Just like the comfortable silences we’ve ever held, without the needs for words.
It takes eloquence and complete rhythm to converse in the fewest words possible,
yet say a lot. That “Yes, I know” held impossibly complicated emotions.
If silences in the previous pages were beautiful, the ones in the next few pages
are beautifully heart-wrenching.
Life is sometimes like that, indeed. We’ve all got things to do, and friends to take leave of, and a life to get on with. But then, something has changed, and when we get back to life, we’re different. There’s a little bit of that friend that stays in us.
It’s painful. And deeply so.
But if we trust time, the pain changes to peace.
And when we get back to our lives, the friendship that stayed within,
now brings strength.
And so the lion does what he always did, tend to his garden. With love, and a smile,
and a heart that held his friendship for the bird.
The seasons change and autumn arrives. Bringing with it, the flock of birds
that left in spring.
And bringing with it hope, that it’s time to meet an old, well-loved friend,
who too must have done the waiting at the other end of the world.
Does bird return?
It’s for you to read when you get a copy. But here’s something that’s more definite
than the ending of this book.
There is no ending to a friendship that allows for silence, space and distance.
In those silences lie room for expression. In the time spent away from each other thrives memory. And in distance lies the triumph of being close, in spite of it.
It is a discovery every time – of friendship, and of ourselves.
Not all nights are made equal. Some will be lonelier than others.
But remember, they will be so only until the next time we meet.
And we always will.
“Nazar mein rehte ho jab tum nazar nahin aate.”
– Gulzar, Aman Ki Asha: An Indo-Pak Peace Initiative
Translation: You are in my eyes when you are not in my sight.