I don’t know the source. I don’t know where it ends. But it’s there, it’s always there, wide and deep and churning. Running as ever through the center of everything. Be brave, deep breath! I close my eyes and leap and all of a sudden the shock of wet cold presses tight against me, covering me, constricting me. I’m going down. Once again in way way over my head.
But in another moment I am swept into the flow and somehow lifted aloft, onward and onward, flowing onward with the river itself. The water prickles and plinks against my skin like the plucked double strings of a mandolin. I am at the same moment woozy and deliciously alert, euphorically breathless yet breathing anew. In love.
The Love You Gratefully Accept
Windows cranked down, my Dad’s arm is resting jauntily on the sill, the breeze rippling his shirtsleeves, skewing his tie. A lefty, he wears his watch on his right wrist, turned inward. Me too. With the casual cool of a suburban Marlboro Man, he gently pinches the steering wheel between his thumb and forefinger steering by degrees. No matter the potholes, the road smoothly undulates before him. No one drives better. I am where I always dream of being. Right in the front seat next to him.
The moment I’ve been waiting for. I have his complete attention. I have absolutely no idea what to say.
The silence in the car is thickening. Then very casually, he reaches over and taps my knee. There’s a pause. Then a grin. “Did you know that I love you?” he asks.
I did. And I do.
The Love That Chooses You
They say it all, all the time! “Love ya!” “Smootches!” “Hugs and kisses!’ XOXOX! “I do I do I do!” You do? The words tumbling and turning, rolling and rumbling along, a casual cascade. A flippant quip, we toss the words around like popcorn, gobbling them up, never quite getting our fill. It don’t mean a thing. And then? One casual hug unexpectedly zings—and then suddenly it does.
The Love You Choose
The lamplight glints off his horn-rimmed glasses, gleams from his cufflinks, glows from the shine of his shoes.
We had been to the theatre. The dinner was done. Just us, a city street corner. I was frightened. He was—he is—so very tall. But even so, I reached up just at the same moment he reached down. That is all it took. We met, just as we were meant to meet, right in the middle. And as we stretched towards each other, the evening itself, sweet as salt water taffy, seemed to stretch forward as well.
The Love Beyond Words
We looked out the window into the darkening evening and there she was. Shivering, hungry, alone. The snow was deep and it was so very cold. No one, no creature, should have been outside like that But she was.
But not for long. We scooped her and wrapped her, and cuddled and coddled her. Elegant and etherial, our princess of a cat, our little Annie Rose.
*Found! After searching for days when she crawled through the vent in the heating system.
*She stroked my face in the night, sometimes even retracting her claws.
*The tiniest cheerleader for our team of boys.
She is so delicate, so frail now.
As always, I try but I can’t say it. There is always a catch in my throat. Alone, I practice sometimes, saying the words over and over to myself, like a mantra, a dirge. “I love you, I love you, I love you.”
Believe me, I do. Even if I can’t say it properly, I do.
I look into her eyes. Does she know? She knows.