Monday, April 28, 2008

for Josh

I live now on even bigger water--the Chesapeake Bay itself--and from our back deck I can watch all manner of things on and around it: islands and ospreys, motorboats and sailboats, shorebirds and common blackbirds, the water itself. Improbably smooth this particular sunset, calm as a salt flat but with the lovely muted pastels of a winter Monet--soft pinks, whites, creams, mint greens--a bride's colors. Stark contrast to the bare rough wood of docks and piers, the shouts from the bar just up the road, the dingy grackle nest-building on the roof next door, the high pitched call of an osprey on its nest, nervous about me and my dog.

Sunset--the sun leaves from behind me, away from the bay, the dwindling light dulling the eastern sky to a wooly pinkish gray. This was the first real day of sun warm enough for basking, and I did--trying to bake sickness and stress out of body and soul. "You're detoxifying your soul" is how it was put to me recently, what I am going through--the "what" being almost every change you can imagine.

Change is of course inevitable--the fish happily and dumbly swimming in its fishy life until the very moment it becomes the osprey's lunch. A woman living a solitary and unheedingly lonely life until, all of an afternoon, she meets the man she'll be living with four months later--and knows she'll still be with thirty years after that. It happens. If we're lucky, we're given, unlike the fish, time to adjust.

So this deck is now "our" deck, this view of the water "our" view. My conviction that relationships do, indeed, happen this way had faded over the years but never really vanished--vanquished, I am still astounded by the conviction that this particular partnership is so deeply and profoundly the right one. Conviction isn't quite the word--there was no sudden revelation, no fall down the rabbit hole--what began as, we both thought, a promising friendship turned within days into the sense of something larger and, after a first meeting, slipped comfortably into forever. "Do you know what this feels like to me?" he asked as he hugged me that first time, that first afternoon. "This feels like the future." I have never been held so gently and yet so tenaciously. He's not let go yet.

The sun is gone now, dipped below the marsh to the back of me, where the frogs call on warmer evenings. The pink cottony haze in the east has slipped into the water, staining it a slippery mother-of-pearl. The eastern shore is a smudged gray pencil line that may really be the edge of the world. The moon brightens, the redwings sing for their mates, the motorcycles thunder down route 261 to the bars. I sit on my new deck with my dog, adjusting my view of the world, and looking east into all the mornings of my future.

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