“Are you going to be here soon?” I said into the phone, hoping he’d be home to walk the dogs with me. I crave this uninterrupted time with Brian. Like most marriages, we’ve had spaces when it seemed we’d rather be alone than together, but this is not one of those times. In the middle of what seems like a million unsettled things in our lives, being with Brian is home.
And so, he arrived just as the pups and I were ready to walk out the door. It was one of those beautiful spring days when being outside was heavenly, so the warmth of the sun on our faces and bare arms was welcome. We started out on our usual path, which seems to bore Glory (it’s like walking a turtle on a leash). Walking Journey is just the opposite. Getting distracted by everything he sees, he kind-of skips along, wanting to see everything now. And that’s another good reason for the four of us to walk as a pack, I like to say. There’s safety in numbers, right?
Talking about something serious like the negative effects of childhood bullying on adults, we had one of those meaningful I. love. you. moments that seem to come out of nowhere. So with dogs in tow, right there on the side of the road, I flung my arms around him and hugged him. At that very moment, a black SUV slowed down right next to us. The driver stuck her head out the window, smiled at us and said,
“I love your love.”
Then, a couple days ago she passed us, calling us her favorite couple, and I wondered. All this time, all these years we’ve walked our usual way, and I’ve hardly thought twice about what others think when they see us. Apparently, she has noticed us with our slow-as-can-be turtle and perpetual puppy. What is it she sees? The way we hold hands? Our smiles and laughter? I’m guessing, she hasn’t witnessed our disagreements on many of those walks or maybe she has. I’ll probably never know specifics unless I go to her door and ask her (and well, that might be uncomfortable).
Really, it doesn’t matter. What matters is this began a conversation, a speaking out loud of our gratefulness for one another.
Everything else might be unsettled still, but, it’s right here in the middle of this complicated life that four powerful words nudged us to more fully appreciate the joy of being together, being part of a pack.
And that’s home for me.