When I was a young girl back in Chicago, I went on a camping trip to Wisconsin with friends. In the middle of the night, four of us snuck out of camp and hiked down to a meadow. We threw out a blanket, flattening the grass around us, and lay down.
Immediately before our trip, I had developed a bad case of swimmer’s ear that eventually led to a busted ear drum. I would never regain full hearing in my left ear and until the drum healed, I was only capable of hearing about 30%. So, as the girls whispered and giggled around me, I stared blankly up at the sky. Soon enough, their voices became muffled tones over the singing of crickets; fireflies danced around us and the smell of dew hung heavy in the warm air. Coming from Chicago, I had never seen a sky like this before. It felt like seeing the world for the first time. Shades of blue hugged every leaf, every blade of grass, every item of clothing we wore as the stars swung over us, a million at a time.
Somewhere in the middle of that moment, as we all found ourselves silent in awe, there was a feeling of togetherness, a melding of spirit and soul, but a similar feeling of being happily singular in the universe: like kings and queens of a world so beautifully perfect as it balanced all forms of life in just the palm of one hand, that we lost track of time.
Meeting Mike was like coming back to that meadow and lying down to get lost in the infiniteness of a steady, happy calm. Somewhere between the intertwining of souls and the strength and confidence of knowing exactly who you are while they blend, we fell. The newness of someone usually brings an uneasiness with it: a time in which you are unsure of what to do, what to say, how to react. There wasn’t one moment that I felt like I didn’t know him or more, like we hadn’t been friends forever. Three hours after meeting him, I sent one text out to my mother. “I found him,” it said. “Who,” she asked. “Him. The one. I know it.”
Since then, there hasn’t been a moment we’ve spent together that I am not completely, madly and sincerely in tremendously, compassionate love, spirally endlessly through a lit sky. A love that has no words, no explanation, no expression or act that can be recreated to prove who we are and what this is. It just is. In it’s beauty and wholeness, it found its counterpart and clung tight.
How can this be? What do I love about him? What is it? What happened? A thousand questions I’m not even sure I can answer because it isn’t something I see, it’s not one particular thing that happened. I can only feel it. When he cradles my face, it’s there. When he closes his eyes and kisses me, it’s there. When he looks at me, through me, into me, it’s there. He once said to me, “There is something I admire so much about you. You think you’re crazy but in all the chaos or the silly moments, you have this steadiness about you. I’m not sure I’m saying this right or can describe it, it’s just this perfect steadiness.” What he doesn’t know is that he is the root of that steadiness. My life was a ship, tirelessly battling the waves of one perfect storm after another, until he showed up. He was the compass I had lost. Now found, I know my direction and I sail confidently into the sun: beaten wood decks, tattered sails and all, knowing there isn’t a thing out there I couldn’t live through… knowing, now, there isn’t a thing I wouldn’t do or live through to be with him.