Summer life has been like the sea in a bay---billowing, full, chopping, loud.
The Italian restaurant proprietor leans out a window above street level to water his window boxes. I sit on window stools eating cheese and watching dogs. The streets are emptied weekly of cars for filming. I wake up to see a beam of steel swinging past my window, and an engine making my whole building shiver. A teenage boy is on a run with his mother. I vaguely see a real smile on the subway.
But this month much of it has passed by in a rush as I've dwelt inside, sometimes not even knowing if there is a prayer to pray, if the path will appear before I step down. I know all of that sounds muddy, but perhaps you've been there? You don't know how many more heart-hurting stories you can take, and when pain laps up at your shore, it seems distant, and you cannot take it in to comprehend.
But here we are and it's September. The months of walking through tunnels of summer sidewalk trash have come to an end, and while others are morose in summer's leave, we can breathe again. We can look up and the sun has angled itself more gently. That is not why we live---but air in my lungs after months of short breath is cool. Cool and good.
Do you know what else?
I was at the doctor yesterday, and watched a man frail as a bent reed shuffle and hover over his wife as if she was not the short and sturdy shrub she was. He stood up to retrieve her insurance card, moved seats to stay next to her, and answered questions she could not hear. You know whose love, generosity, care, and kindness that reminds me of?
Last week we celebrated 2 years of utter joy. When I am in a nursing home and thinking back to life in New York, I will remember this: his homecoming each night. Usually I am at the computer on our pine table when I hear a key scrape its hole and the door opens 4 inches and sticks. I jump up, nearly always getting a bit light-headed, and see him smiling, always smiling, through the inches. I unlatch the door, and he is in hugging me, and home.
Happy Anniversary, my love. You are the best man I will ever know. You hug me with the morning light, and listen to me when it is dark. It is not what you do, though, but who you are that enthralls me.
These years have been the happiest days of my life. Your lift gives me air, helps me float. I will always love you.