I wake up to the sounds of six-thirty. The clock, sitting on the cherry nightstand, glows red across the bed where she usually sleeps. Her space is empty, offering room to stretch and realign. Even so, I find myself in the gully formed by my shape.
This period of alone is temporary; there are other loves she has gone to nourish. In a place so far from here, there is a life she created, who has settled in and carried on.
I wonder if she is comfortable and safe. And happy. When we are together, I can know these things. Apart, I can only hope.
I worry, but not for the reasons that gnawed my heart in the past. The fierce and unpredictable independence that sent her on past adventures still burns, though tempered a bit by the toll that time and heartache have taken. Always, she is powerfully armed and astonishingly resilient.
Our journey has featured runs of empty mornings and angry sunsets laced within the beautiful colors of the lives we created. It is never quite settled or safe.
Time has worn down the edges that cut and bruised us. Like an old relic, we handle what remains both lovingly and carelessly. The carelessness is not funded by disaffection, but rather by experience and acceptance. While there is always the potential for a new nick or a sudden fracture, we have survived such heartless and thoughtless savaging that these small things are absorbed with no further damage.
Being alone is welcomed now. It is appreciated because there is a time certain when it will change again, and space will be re-balanced for two. In the meanwhile, I keep to a routine, careful to not revisit old bad habits. Care for my body, care for our home. Feed myself with work and art. Give thought to her adventures and wonder how it feels to be there, in that place, at this time.
Call my son, our son, to ask how things are going. Tell him how I love him and rejoice in the good life he has earned. He too is powerfully armed and astonishingly resilient.
Reach out to more family, one I would not have without her. Laugh wildly with the young ones, and thank them all for making me richer.
I feed on all the love she has placed in my life, and remember that it requires my participation.
Even while she is away.