Friday, March 9, 2012

Slow and sorta' steady

In our garden: orange mint, strawberries and apple mint

"Be like the turtle", said my partner's dad, and my eyes met his full-on for the first time in the, oh, thirty or so minutes that I sat in awkward, albeit familiar silence. That was meet-the-parents-day in July of last year. Michael is spontaneous and not at all like a turtle, so there I sat in his parents' home in a much shorter dress than I'd have liked, the sheen of NYC summer on my face, a tousled head, and for the sake of creative license, I'll say a tad of a 'tude.

But those words projected above the din of discomfort in my head as if I somehow knew that he, really knew. Whilst I stared, nodded, smiled and sucked it all in, Michael's father's partner busied herself about their meticulously kept kitchen, in what seemed like an effort to find the one food item she could offer of which I could not decline. Alas, a firm peach was offered and accepted, the conversation lulled, and my mind began to shout.

Turtles, I thought, slow and deliberate, armored, somewhat fearful--at least, in my anthropomorphous observations of our amphibious friends. The connection wasn't made immediately, but I clung to the belief that it would, if I just kept returning to the concept. And, I did, over the many months and thousands of miles that would separate us just shortly thereafter.

It was six months before I saw Michael again, and in those months in between, I'd researched, mentally prepared and filed for divorce, sold the contents of our family home, moved into my starting over space, and wagered for my life with grief and debilitating depression, all of which I did slowly, deliberately and armed oft-times with nothing more than the belief that there was something greater on the other side of this, and at equal times disarmed that there may not be.

It'll be six months before Michael returns to me, to the west coast, to stay. You can imagine we speak of turtles often, we see them in our travels (I make him buy them for me!) and, we call upon them in our dreams. We build our daily intentions around them, as we slowly, deliberately begin a life together, armed with nothing more than the belief that together we are greater; life is greater shared, sorrows are better halved. So we journey on together even while we are apart, slow and sorta' steady, he and I.

Peace and purpose,


Baby Squares said...

"life is greater shared, sorrows are better halved." I'm taking this here with me. Wasn't it said that slow & steady wins the race? Thanks for the reminder.

T.Allen said...

For the win, Barbara...I'm going for the win. xo

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