I went to meet the sea yesterday. She looked calm. She looked sad.
She saw me, made a little wave. The wind blew harder.
"I'm lonely", she said. I miss the children and the dogs and the people. I miss their colours and their sounds. I'm a solo instrument and I want my orchestra back.
"I understand" I said. "But you mustn't worry. They miss you too.
They haven't forgotten you. They crave your soothing company, your changing moods. Your absence is hurting them. They are thinking of you, cherishing old pictures of you - there are thousands you know - all of them beautiful. Did you know how beautiful you are?"
The sea sighed, heaved. Another wave, this one bigger, reaching further.
"They'll return when this is over", I said. "And they will value you more. They'll be kinder, and might not take you for granted any more". I pulled a plastic thread from her hair...
"Things will be different for a while" I said. "Maybe forever. Maybe it'll be even better than before. We will return. And we'll play together again."
And I walked on, past the empty hug in the sand. Basking in her fresh and salty scent, feeling a little better after our chat, like I always do.