Soft white curtains hang at the windows and through them, light shines. Today, the air wafts in too, because we’ve been given a break from the oppression of humidity and extreme heat. And just beyond the front porch, crepe myrtles are in full bloom. Hot pink blossoms are doing a slow dance in the breeze and I revel at the way the window is filled with light and color. I call them myrtles, like they are dear old friends who gather for brunch on a Tuesday morning, wearing gaudy hats and one too many spritzes of perfume.
Last night, after we said good night to the children, we caught the end of the sunset from the porch swing. It’s my belief that if the sun is going to set each night with a grand display of artistry, then it should be acknowledged if only for a moment. Our street is bordered with large trees and uninspiring power lines interfere with the view. We are given but a portion of the sky, where the trees part, so a portion we will take.
We rocked slowly with the sleepy street below, where its people full of oddities and issues, linger behind walls and windows. We once thought it would be something of a circus, when we met our quirky neighbors who played the roles of cat ladies, drug dealers, and the rough-around-the-edges-and-everywhere-else-too resident grumblers. As it turns out, we’re the only ones they like and thus, reap the benefits in bags overflowing with garden harvests. An occasional firefly pierces the dusk and we are at ease together, in the real and transparent place of knowing and being known. Laughter is sweet, deep, and rich, ripe with exhaustion and appreciation for all the blessings and responsibilities of this life. And something finds us in the quiet, in the closeness, the questions we still ask, the dreams we dare to dream that have not yet been birthed or eroded with time and its practicality. The ones we’ve asked from the beginning and perhaps until the end. The life we’ve collected is woven into the words and pauses, our matching heartbeat of adventure sounding in unison echoes in the silence.
A tall, five-year-old boy wearing pajamas and a hat cracks appears at the front door with a stuffed crocodile in hand, to let us know that he was just telling his crocodile that they were going on a trip to the moon, in outer space, which is where the aliens live, but he didn’t know the names of the planets with aliens and so he needed us to tell him. Is that okay that I came out of my room to ask you, he says, and surely, it must be, so we mention a few planet names and satisfied, he returns to bed. Again, laughter lingers in the warm summer air.
Another little one stretches and contorts my abdomen, there is little comfort to be found in these last days and weeks before her arrival, save hot fudge sundaes and nightly foot rubs. What have we gotten ourselves into, we ask. It’s a question that needs no answer, but we respond in playful blame and banter as we consider the days ahead.
It’s a beautiful madness, our wandering tale. Our hearts beat strong with love and bold dreams and unwavering adventure. Our minds and bodies are tired with its responsibilities and realities. But, it’s ours, together and that’s the thing.
Oh, let us acknowledge the adventures of today and ponder those of tomorrow. Let us face life with courage and hope, knowing we never desired easy and dull. May we always ask questions and never stop. May we laugh in the dusk of summer and winter snow— even when our laughter betrays our exhaustion (and that fact that we have no idea what we’re doing). And in that comfortable space of being known by each other, let us dream, always.
Another day ends as the lights of our sleepy street flicker on to keep watch. We move about, filling water glasses, closing blinds, and re-covering little ones with blankets that have fallen to the floor.
And again, tomorrow.