Have you ever been to Idaho? When I visited the state many years ago, I was just passing through, but I remember it being a rather nice place. The parts I traveled were very scenic, and just like a lot of the larger states in our country, there didn’t seem to be very many people around.
I was 20 at the time, and it was the first opportunity I had to take a 3,500 mile road trip around this big hunk of land. The group I was with traveled through Idaho on our way back to Michigan after spending a few weeks in California meeting people working in the film industry. Idaho’s views were a pretty big contrast to what I had been experiencing in Los Angeles and San Francisco only a handful of days earlier.
In every state I traveled through on that journey, I’d pick up something small to remember the state by. At the time, I was a big fan of collecting horrible memorabilia from states. It was my goal to find the worst keychain, mug, trucker hat, whatever, and if I every came across something like that in one of those shops, it was a no-question purchase. I wasn’t in Idaho for very long, but my group ended up stopping at a roadside center to eat lunch, stretch, and visit a few stores.
Unfortunately, nothing super gaudy was around for purchase at my stop in Idaho, but I was able to walk away with a coaster that had a horrible, color illustration of a river with trees and rocks everywhere. Just a really poorly rendered forest scene. Overlayed on the illustration was the word “IDAHO” in big chunky, white font. The state crest was below that, and the words “Esto Perpetua” were printed below the crest, also in white. Later I'd learn that this was the state's motto. I had no idea what the words meant, but one of the people I was with said he thought it was probably Latin.
I ended up forgetting about that coaster and those two words for quite some time. Years later I found it again, tucked away in an old box of memories. I don’t remember why I ended up looking up the translation of the words on the internet, but I did. The guy I was with years prior was right, it was Latin.
Let it be perpetual.
I remember really liking that phrase. Thinking back to my trip, it made a lot of sense to me. It seemed to fit. I didn’t know much at all about the state where I picked up that coaster, but it did feel like a part of the world that just kept going. Kept moving on like nothing ever happened. Humans? Sure, a few roads, a few towns. But otherwise, it was all just big, peaceful nature. It was indeed perpetual. It felt like forever.
I decided this coaster had more to it than just being something dumb I picked up in a gift shop on a trip. Plenty of things in my life had eventually shown previously hidden meaning once I looked at them with new eyes. Why not this? I decided I wanted to live my life perpetually. I wanted each action to lead to another, larger action. I wanted to let everything carry on in that manner until I simply happened upon the end, knowing that once I got there, I’d be safe saying that I lived my life just like the perpetual nature I saw in Idaho. Always present, always moving forward, year after year. I could say that I was me, happily.
All of that out of a coaster, right?
Well, all of this out of a crush. Each and every action has led me to you. Every choice. They haven’t all been right, and not all of my actions have led to bigger or necessarily better actions. But I’m here now, always thinking about you, willing to give you everything. I’m still moving forward and I’m still me, happily. I’m letting life be perpetual. I’m letting us be perpetual. Something big, peaceful, and...well.
I hadn't since felt the forever like I did in Idaho, all of those summers ago, until I got the chance to know you.