Just Me & Us

And then, somehow, it became just my life again.

I didn’t have the moving on ritual I’d planned. There were no anniversaries to mark this change, it just happened. I looked over my shoulder and “we” were in the past. Now its “me and the kids.” Its not that she’s not felt. It’s not that we don’t invoke her memory or the presence of her spirit daily – we do, with great love. But I’m no longer recently widowed, I’m just me again.

My invisible wings are vast,
not angel wings,
or Eagle or Hawk.
They are rare though,
soaring gifts from another world,
made from a rainbow bird
that passed through fire.

I linger in bed with the kids now. Before, when I’d wake up at 4 or 5 I might head down to the house to go to the bathroom and stay up, writing or reading, sleep again, alone – feeling like I needed the space. Now I roll to my right or left and pull one of them in, breathing deep, invoking the magic of a second group sleep. She digs her toes into my legs, he will grab my arm and make it entwine him in some new way.

Lets rest again,
woven into each other,
hemp and straw,
hands and dreams,
our breath making one.

“Us” is something I’ve been in love with for as long as I can remember. I loved being married. I felt like I’d really accomplished something special, that we were making something bigger than ourselves. We did, its still thriving, sleeping on either side of me.

When we were just getting together I was so frustrated with how distant she could be, how detached she felt at times. She could be part of us and separate at the same time. I couldn’t, didn’t want to live that way. I think having a family, being married was a great gift for her as well. She just had a very well established place within herself where she was clearly alone. She could choose her degree of “us-ness” with great precision.

So much of who I am came into solid form during our 15 years of marriage. My ability to decide who I’ll be in the world, how I’ll relate to my kids and other people, settled into my lap during that time. I became comfortable with my rough edges, able to laugh at my character deformities. My Dad died during our marriage. She appreciated him so much. He gave her the kind of Fathering she’d missed for most of her childhood. When he died she wept as if a part of her heart had been cut out. His passing was a shifting of weight for us, a reminder that our family mattered, could provide love beyond its edges. “Us” took on a new gravity in the world.

You landed atop the round cob studio yesterday,
as a young Redtail Hawk
staring me down with your fierce beauty,
like always.
Its time to move on
you said.
This is the step forward
you need.
The world has changed,
let go.

I’ve been working hard to sell Lavender Hill so we can move to a more manageable life up in Oregon. This place is just 3 sizes to big for me alone. The first month was hard – grief rolled in with each day of packing. Memories tumbled out of corners unexpected. For a time, grief became an insurmountable wall again.

free falling again,
but this time unafraid.
I knew I’d passed through
the worst of it.
Endless memories,
boxes to open,
your things to hold
and smell
and put aside,
give away,
or keep.
I’ve landed now.
And I feel just like
me.
Thankfully love is still here,
undiminished.
It’s the only thing that survives.

Then the space of time opened up again. The house is up for sale, the one we wanted up in Oregon came on the market again. We’re moving forward, just like she said.

The spirits have been signaling a rebirth as well. I’ve been doing yoga in the mornings for a half hour every day. It seems to pull my spirit together, empowering my work. I’m told I need to dance on the land barefoot, to take back my power. It feels good, to reach into the earth with my spirit, let her energy flow up into me. Saying yes again.

Yes to life, yes to just me.

The photo for this post is one of the first pictures my daughter Truly took. How many first steps into the world do each of us take in a lifetime? I know its a lot more than one or two. I see her, years later, still taking first steps almost every day.

Blessings to you and yours during this time of great change.