Where have you been, Jinger?

At first, I didn’t even notice her.

She didn’t appear to me visually at all. She made her appearance to me through my gut. Somehow…the more I spent alone time, the more I could feel her. It feels like when your gut is pulling at you, and the spleen concurs and makes you say either “uh huh, mm-hmm” or “NOPE”

The feeling strikes out hesitantly at first….but with every decision I had to make while being on the solo travel road, small or big one, I started developing a stronger connection with Jinger.

From the cobbled streets in Paris, to the mountainous towns in Albania, my connection with Jinger grew and grew. The scenery we enjoyed while van-tripping in Scotland, feeling her laughter spread all over my body like warm honey….

She felt entirely different from me, and yet, like a puppeteer, she led the way forward as I went through my first year of travelling.

I let her lead the way the whole time. Mostly because I was so broken and shattered inside that I couldn’t bother being in control anymore.

She made the decision to continue our travelling plans from US to Europe. She made the decision to try out workaway. She led my hand through strange alleyways, she taught me how to enjoy chocolate and wine again, and she let me nestle warmly in her big soft hair, whenever the pain in my heart got too big.

She was the one who would sing me gently to sleep whenever my exhausted mind got so tired I needed to rest. She muted the memories of my failed marriage. She helped me momentarily forget about all that had happened.

She didn’t inform me of any future plans. Her presence was so strong, courageous, and certain. I never felt the need to question her intention. I knew she was taking care of me. And I leaned into every bite of delicious food she made me and got used to her smell. She smelled like fresh dew in the morning, and I always imagined her skin would sparkle in the sunlight.

So it was surprising to me, when I first caught a glimpse of her.

Was that big curly hair I just saw? The thought flashed across my mind.

Is she wearing…..denim overalls?!

Slowly, bit by bit, I kept catching glimpses of her. Right until the day she decided to present herself to me.

She came in my dreams…and she whispered to me. “Jane, wake up. Wake up! It’s me”

I woke up in my dream and saw that we were in a green meadow, not unlike the spaces in any public garden in Singapore. The sun was shining in my face when she woke me up, and I had to put an arm up to shield the light from blinding me.

After a few blinks, her appearance came into focus. And she was as beautiful, if not more, in “real life” except she was younger. By a few years. She looked like she was 19 or 20, but her soul felt so ancient. She had big curly hair….a soft round face. She didn’t look very human in that her skin was a light olive, and it looked like the universe was literally within her.

I only saw her for a few seconds….but her red lips, her strong arms, and her stouty legs all made her look like a warrior from another time. A time when women had to fight to survive. At the same time, she also looked like a traditional medicine healer. But maybe that was only because of her orange bandana around her head, set to keep all of that hair out of her face.

“What took you so long to appear, Jinger?”

“You locked me up within you years ago, Jane. You don’t remember anymore. But it’s okay, I’m here now.”

I was surprised she spoke English but with an accent that made her sound South American?!

“Will you come back more?”

“I’ve always been here. I’m not going anywhere…..now go back to sleep Jane. Ill see you again”

Jinger gently kisses me on my forehead. And I wake up in my bed in Koh Phangan. My fingers instinctively move across where her lips had been, and I can almost feel her love like a warm liquid flow right from my head down to my gut, where it settled for a bit before going away.

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