I stepped from Plank to Plank
A slow and cautious way
The Stars about my Head I felt
About my feet the Sea.

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch -
This gave me that precarious Gait
Some call Experience.

Emily Dickinson, c. 1864

Sunday, October 1, 2023

Love is in the air

Lily and me on Cordata Parkway

It's just one of the prettiest times of the year when the sun is shining, and the trees are lighting up all around the city. I spent most of Friday hanging out with Lily, first in the bowling alley (I got one strike in two games!) and then having some pizza and beer at the Larrabee Lager Company, a new brewery in our town, just across the street from the bowling alley. It was a truly lovely day, and you can see from Lily's selfie how beautiful it was outdoors in the sun.

She is one of my favorite people in the world. Born in Guatemala, she came here several years ago, and her English was not very good. I think she might have gotten into a situation she didn't quite intend, but it all turned out just fine. She has held a green card for years and has worked in the same place for many years now, and is well respected. She also has become fluent in English. Recently, she paid off her beautiful car and things are definitely looking up for her. She has a close friend who takes her to many wonderful places, since he likes to eat out and they travel to Canada often. I am so glad to see how well everything is working out for her, and I'm also very glad to still be part of her life.

Yesterday, Saturday, I went for a nice walk along the harbor with my friend Steve. It's curious how we met, hanging out in the same coffee shop, sitting in the same spot every morning, and somehow ending up taking long walks together on Saturday mornings. It all started when I was getting ready to walk alone, since Melanie is gone, and he asked if he could join me. It was several months ago, and now it's a tradition for us to take off somewhere in the general vicinity of the coffee shop, walking five or six miles before returning to our cars. As usual, when you walk with someone, you learn new things about each other as you carry on a conversation. His love affair with dogs has taught me so much about different breeds, when I watch him make friends with a dog and knowing how much most of them like to have their backs scratched, for example. He always asks for permission before petting someone's dog. There is a mutual admiration going on between Steve and the dog, obviously. I think he is mostly attracted to dogs that remind him of his own companion of seventeen years, whom he had to put down a few years ago. He is still hurting over that, I can tell. Love tends to have that effect on us, when we lose the object of our affection.

Since he lives alone, he feels that it wouldn't be fair to bring a new puppy or even a rescue dog into his life, who he would be leaving alone far too much of the time because of work. Even that shows what a caring person he is. When I am with him, I feel quite privileged to receive his attention, and we spend a lot of time laughing together over silly things. He is a college professor and teaches organic chemistry; the fall semester just started up so he's only at the coffee shop on Fridays and Saturday mornings these days. When we are walking, it seems he knows many of the people we run into, which tells me he's certainly a friend to quite a lot of people who think a great deal of him. I'm glad he adopted me. It makes me miss Melanie less, too.

And when I return home after a nice hike or a walk, I usually find my sweet partner at home, and we greet each other with hugs and smiles. He's probably been doing something practical, like changing a light bulb, cooking, or doing the laundry, while I have been out and about, socializing and exercising outdoors. He lights up my life, and I feel incredibly grateful to have him around. He's got a great sense of humor and often has me rolling my eyes at his latest pun. Although like most couples, we sometimes have disagreements, they are small and fall away quickly, since we both love each other very much and cherish our harmony. We fit together quite well. No one could be more surprised at how things have turned out in our life together; we both had many failed attempts before we met each other and married at fifty. That was more than thirty years ago!

There are many other people in my life who bring me joy. I feel incredibly lucky to have such a large contingent of virtual family members through my blogging activity (which this post is part of), and I look forward to finding out how others cope, as we move through our days. Love and loss are part of life, and it seems the more we love, the more we grieve when we lose a loved one. But that is an inevitable part of being alive: if we love with all our hearts, we feel keenly the loss of a loved one. Today I feel the past reaching up from the depths and reminding me of those who have gone before. My parents, my sons, so many wonderful friends who still live in my memories of them. Sometimes they visit me during a dream, and I rejoice when that happens. 

Yes, love is in the air, and when I feel it surround me, my heart opens to the world, with all its flavors and nuances. I wish there was some way to bring that feeling to everyone. This is the best I can do: write my wish here to bring it to life. Riding the wave of happiness and contentment, which of course doesn't last (nothing does), but for the moment I can share it with you, my dear reader, and hope that you will find some part of it in your day ahead. Until we meet again next week, dear friends, I wish you all good things. Be well.
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. —Lao Tzu



Linda Reeder said...

Thank you for this post. I need to feel the love more lately. I am blessed to have a wonderful partner too.
This evening we will be with family as we celebrate Tom and his twin sister Jan's 82nd birthday. Actually Oct 4th, this is the day we could all get together. Except for Irene, of course. She has started classes at Western, there in Bellingham. She already has a "gang" of friends she hangs out with. I wonder if she will encounter your friend Steve? Organic Chemistry is probably in her future.

gigi-hawaii said...

What a great post, full of love, hope and joy. I could use some of that, myself.

Tabor said...

you are certainly blest. I do not find it easy to make friends, but if I reach out I am usually rewarded.

Rita said...

So glad you got to see Lily!! And Steve sounds like a wonderful addition in your life. Even though you love your routines, you are open to change and new experiences and do fully appreciate them--so they come to you. :) :)

Elephant's Child said...

This is a truly beautiful post. I am unsurprised that you make new friends (and good ones) so readily. You are a good friend yourself. I feel so very privileged to have this cyber connection with you.

John's Island said...

This is a great post … sort of a win, win, win … a win with Lily, a win with Steve, and a win with Smart Guy. The whole post put a big smile on my face. Thank you DJan!

Barbara Rogers said...

Thanks for this lovely/loving post. I read yours almost weekly, but seldom have anything to comment.

Marie Smith said...

Love is a tremendous energizer for sure. Enjoy!

Red said...

We earn another's respect and love in in so doing build a strong relationship. We are attracted to people and somehow they are attracted to us. As always a good thought provoking Sunday post.

Far Side of Fifty said...

I am so glad that you have Lily and Steve and your Smart Guy in your life...they make your days better! I always enjoy your Sunday thoughts! I hope you have a wonderful week! We are having a warm for October spell, it was 92 today...which was very warm. I spent most of the day mulching leaves here at home and at my brothers shop and then at his home.. One more property to do this week and I will be caught up! I will be glad when all the leaves are down:)

Rian said...

Enjoyed this post, DJan... and really like the quote by Lao Tzu at the end.

Anvilcloud said...

What a positive and up-beat post.

Glenda Beall said...

Your post is filled with love and gratefulness. As usual I leave it glad I came here to read it today. So happy for your new friend and your old friend and your joy in being with them. I, too, am a people person and I am now with my sister every day. I am happy.

William Kendall said...

As much as I'd like to get a cat or dog, work keeps me away too long. Wouldn't be fair to the animal.