Chevy loved to travel. He visited many towns, villages and countries. None satisfied his wanderlust. There was peculiar joy in arriving at a foreign place, in starting his days with newness and surprise.
“I am a traveler,” said he, “the road is my abode.”
One day, traversing a dark forest, Chevy met an old man by the road. The man was hurt, and the cart beside him broken. Chevy pitied the old man and offered his open hands.
At first, Chevy thought that he was going to help only as far as getting the cart rolling again in the dusty road. But he saw that the old man’s injury did not allow that independence. So Chevy pulled the cart until they reached the old man's house.
There, Chevy was taken aback.
“You live alone, old man?”
“And your family?”
There was nothing else to ask. Chevy could not leave the old man to his devices that night. Besides, dusk had fallen and Chevy did not mind having shelter for the night. He could restart his journey in the morning.
Before dawn, loud clangs interrupted Chevy's sleep. He thought that the unfamiliar bed was crumbling beneath him.
In the squinting darkness, Chevy saw the old man crouched by the stove, holding his arm with fumes of coffee and wretchedness splattered around him.
Chevy rose and cleaned the mess. Then he made breakfast, opened the windows, swept the floor, loaded the cart, pulled it to the market, sold the goods, and pulled it back with the tiny old man in its tub.
There were not a lot of words exchanged between them. Their silence gleamed with the gladness of a day well-spent. The sore in their bodies laid their minds with deep, satisfied hush. A hush that lulled their uninterrupted sleep.
In the next morning, Chevy rose when he heard the water poured into the kettle. Immediately, he took over the tasks as he did in the day before. Breakfast, airing, sweeping, loading, going, selling, returning, and sleep again. Better than the day before, with familiarity growing on his muscles. Every day thus. Every day thus for a while.
Sometimes it took him by surprise, his longing for travel. It usually visited in the hours of doubt, between rest and movement. And he soothed it with the thought that he could ask for leave tomorrow morning. Or he could as soon as he was sure that the old man’s arm was well again.
Besides, said Chevy to himself every morning, it is not the worst feeling in the world to know where you’re going to meet dusk and rest. Albeit ordinary, he was surprised to find pleasure in the fluency of everydayness.
One morning, Chevy rose to see the old man standing strong and upright. The kettle steady in his wrinkly hand as he poured coffee into their cups. The grace of old age filled his eyes with friendly question.
To which Chevy replied with his usual smile. By airing the hut and loading the cart. By starting their day like the day before, and many days after. Breakfast, market and bed.
Breakfast, market and bed.
Breakfast, market and bed.
And that was well.