|The river by my house.|
So I put on my big girl pants and decided we are going to spend as much time outside this summer as possible: Kayaking, hiking, biking etc. Saturday was a kayaking day. There is a river close to our house so we put in for a couple of hours, laughed a little, bumped into each other and splashed our paddles around. Husband pointed out different wildlife and oriented me relative to area landmarks. He took pictures and I looked for interesting things on shore.
It appears one of the continued perks of my late-in-life third pregnancy a couple years ago has been a noticeable decline in my allergy symptoms. There have been times when tooling down this river would have sent me to bed miserable with swollen, itchy, runny eyes and nose. I was all prepared to pretend I was having a thrilling time when something else happened:
Now, floating under some weeping trees, I experience what many people do when outside in nature. Ripples and swirlies make art on the water and I smell the warm wet without the distraction of an imminent sneeze. My senses, not being preoccupied with an allergic reaction, begin to immerse in the sights and sounds and smells of this place. Something inside me unfurls like a brand new leaf. I sink into the kayak.
I watch my husband take in the sky and water and green and think, Now, just. . .now. Breathe in this color, breathe out my worries, submit to the earth, usher peace to my soul, and send it all to my partner. He is relaxing and I don't need to be here for that to happen, but I'm glad I am. The trees have never been more perfectly green and each leaf has been carefully cut out and folded by hand, it seems, just for him. I listen to the quiet trickle of water from my paddle, behold this misty, origami forest.
Sometimes you're walking along, living your life, wondering what it's all about and a confluence of all that we are and everything that has happened results in this. . . thing: A husband whose healing can only be found when surrounded by a wooded landscape; a loss that makes you appreciate the beauty of the world a bit differently; a reminder that all marriages end and the love story lives on in its children; the continued discovery of gifts big and small brought by an unexpected baby, and the birth of an unexpected life for us all. You're overwhelmed with all this and then, just when you least expect it, there is this beautiful river. And your partner just happens to be floating on it. With you. And you can really, really breathe. Literally, you can. So you do. And just like that a falling apart story ends, and a putting back together story begins. You know you will be different when it's over. You will be better. Yes, indeed.
|To find a vibrant community of teachers who write|