I never said I wanted to glide. I also did not count on digging myself out of an insurmountable hole twenty-one years consistently in the making followed by nineteen years of slowly climbing up only to feverishly slide back down from a few, swift blows. I often ponder which was the harder path down? But this is the best and I am strong. That is what you said this morning when we woke to the scattered beams, birds and sky. Life began here with the sunrise on that October morning. Or was it with the midnight moon just hours before as you read to me from Funes the Memorious? It was not unfortunate in the least. Quite the opposite. White sheets billowing in the, early morning, bay breeze. Smiling, but unable to open my eyes. Drinking in the sounds, your smell, us. And then they came. Our pure joy is just eight days old and we are here. Permanence, stability, life, a home. And our little boy arrives a mere fourteen months later.
Is that why you always tell us your favorite month is October? When a day presents itself as warmer than it should be with a sky the color of the Robin’s eggs in the nest under our deck? Is it awakening those first, raw emotions? Maybe you know it consciously, maybe you don’t, but I know it is the source of that spark. I know it to be true and it elicits a smile in my heart and on my lips.
As we head home for work and school, there is but one certainty. We never really leave. When we close our eyes, we see the reflections. When we look into our minds, we feel the multitude of wavelike emotions; but mostly love swinging along like the breeze off of the harbor blowing the hammock. In this life, a nice life, there is no abandonment. In this life, the only life, there is support, love, compromise, sharing, kindness. I am still learning that it will not vanish, that things will not go back. Openness, discovery and happiness are here. Ours to accept and embrace together. Don’t let the clouds of fall take away the brilliance of summer. Don’t let the ice on the harbor trap you and drag you back into that deep, deep hole. Gratitude. Peace. Love.
Now they are getting big. The feelings grow even deeper and the depth of my hurt is even greater when I see what should have been given and what can be. I work with every fiber of my being to break the cycle and in an ironic twist, I am grateful for the pain, which opened the path to light. I am far from perfect, but in their eyes, I am. For that, I am forever proud. We bring friends here and introduce them to our wonders. The water. Fishing, crabbing, clamming. Shell crafting. They are, of course, blown away. The natural beauty is one thing, but the bond is something altogether different. “But do you know how lucky you are?” they ask. “Do you really?” A family glance is exchanged as if to say luckier than you think we are, but we remain silent. It is not money or toys or cars. It is nothing that you can see around you. It is built on trust, love and this land. It is built on our belly laughs as we play their newest game, broken telephone and move from the first subject, eyelashes to the last, Neil Young. From sunrise that October morning until this very tick of the clock. There was no before. There will be no after. This is. And I will never slip back.