It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything on here that is more than a poem or affirmative thought of the day, but I figure change always shakes things up a little and is good for the soul. Besides, my 2nd blog birthday slipped by in June without nary a word and surely such an auspicious occasion deserves a few thoughtful remarks.
The truth is this summer will go down as one of the busiest summers on my record books so far. I’ve barely had time to write an affirmation let alone anything approaching a thoughtful remark.
It all started when I met this guy back in November (who is referenced heavily in the poetry on this site as either simply “he,” “the boy in the orange shirt,” or “Oregon”) fell in love, had a lovely courtship which consisted of much travel to the picture perfect town of Bend, fell more in love, and culminated in his move up to Alaska back in June.
It was a departure from life as we knew it. A bright eyed excitement where we willingly grabbed each other’s hand and dove head first into the sea of change to let the current carry us where it may.
And it’s been quite a current. Filled with a complete immersion of boundaries that happened all at once, and the adjustment turbulence found when one is expanding enough to make space in their life for another, yet trying to retain some sort of anchor to keep them tethered to their true voice and self. It has been messy and stormy and chaotic and oddly beautiful in the most human of ways that I don’t think could ever be replicated if I tried.
Since neither of us has any idea what it means to do something halfway by only dipping a toe in the water, we threw buying a house into the mix, which meant June and July were the busiest months I have ever had in my practice. I came through it all utterly exhausted and splayed, but with enough money in the piggy bank to sign a check this Thursday that will purchase one little cottage in the woods for two people, one little white dog, and one temperamental cat.
In the meantime, we have been living in about 400 square feet of space and have learned an entirely new meaning to the word co-habitation. On good days we like to think of it as a doorway to intimacy, and on the long days one of us trips over the cat and laments about how cramped and completely infuriating this whole arrangement is.
I think this all would have been enough in itself, but life happens as life usually does, and the boy from Oregon who never gets sick came down with a lingering case of bronchitis that has landed him at the doctor’s twice and in the ER once, interfering greatly with his ability to do the distance runs he so loves to do. It’s been a random, painful, vexing irritant which has only been matched by the girl from Alaska’s chance kidney infection, which has refused 2 rounds of antibiotics and seems intent on making life fairly painful, feverish and miserable until it’s done having it’s say.
Which brings us around to the rub of life right now, which is how very real and very human all of this is. Neither of us was naive enough to expect this to be easy, but we were still blind sided by ailments and interest rates and bank loans and the scary territory of change and kidney infections that just won’t die and how raw and rough life got so fast.
Yet somewhere in the middle of all of it an engagement took place. On a simple Saturday where the kidney infection was having it’s say and I had just broken through another round of fever, he placed a ring on my finger and said be mine.
It was a foregone conclusion, because I already am. Even through the stress of home buying. Even in sickness. Even in the ugliest parts of ourselves that have emerged throughout this tumultuous time in the sea of change. I am.
I’m his. And I am still mine. I can be both of these things. That is what I am taking from this summer which is quickly dwindling as the sunset of August approaches- love is all these things.
It is choosing one another again and again, even when life throws you curve balls. It is bravely taking a deep breath and signing your name on important documents, because you believe that is what is best for the good of your family. It is making the best of 400 square feet, because that’s all you have at the moment and you might as well laugh at how many times you run into one another and step on the poor, cranky cat.
It is throwing a picnic on a random Wednesday, just because it’s sunny and you want to sit on a blanket and read poetry together. It is going to urgent care after a cat bite gone wrong and keeping a sense of humor about the whole matter. It is who wants to clean up after the sick dog? and acknowledging that neither is their best self under the stream of stress life has lent, but folding into one another anyways. It is climbing a mountain at snail’s pace because that day the kidney’s win, but still taking in the magnificent view of life at the top and saying I am glad we did this together.
It is having the courage to love yourself through the stress and change of it all.
It is having the courage to let your old skin go so you can step into a new skin.
It is a commitment to love for another on a simply Saturday that says I will take you as you are. Right now. Just you.
Summer 2014. It has not been the carefree time I had hoped for, but I suspect it has been exactly what was needed to take a seed of new love and give it deep roots in the dark, course grounds of earth so it is better able to bloom magnificently and stand strong. Roots are beautiful in their own way if you take the time to appreciate them. Complex. Tangled. Persistent. Resilient. They always find a way to keep life growing.
In the meantime, though I am grateful for the lessons this summer has brought, there is a full moon on Sunday and I will be setting my intentions for a quieter, calmer season of life. More picnics, less gasping for air and diving for inhalers.
Of course, we still have to move this weekend.
And find furniture for a home.
Then there’s the wedding to plan.
And that 50 mile race we keep talking about…
Never a dull moment.