I was just now sitting in the parking lot of the bookstore, unabashedly watching a young couple, obviously in love, holding each other for a long time. Then kissing. Then laughing and talking. Then looking like they were saying goodbye for an extended period of time (an "I just can't bring my body to leave you" goodbye). Then they held each other again, big, deep "just can't live without you" hugs. Then they both locked their cars and walked away together. A reunion? An almost goodbye? Hard to say, but so beautiful to watch.
Those moments are why I love people watching. Why I love sitting in one spot at the airport and viewing all the departure and arrival hugs, the family reunions, the parent coming home from a long trip, scooping up the little darlings in their arms and feeling that happiness wash over them all. Beauty. Did you see the opening and closing scenes of "Love Actually"? Those are the moments I am talking about, and they can bring you to tears if you don't watch out.
There is something visceral about two bodies coming together...you can see in a flash the hours and days of longing gone by, the long nights alone and the feeling of finally being "home," which really has nothing to do with a house at all.
I want one of those moments. I want that feeling of fresh new love. And I would be happy to have it with my husband of twelve years. He wrote me a text today, "Love you Allison." Just took my breath away. Good moment.
Now in the bookstore, I am sitting next to what seems to be a first date or a first meeting after an online relationship. A lot of get-to-know-ya questions after statements such as, "I'm not sure if I told you or not..." Two older people having a slightly awkward but friendly and reasonably flowing conversation. A lot of basic details being shared, and some more personal stories (they are handling this well). Now a silence. Uncomfortable? Not sure. "What do you tend to do in your spare time," she asks. ...Oh, remember dating? Not that I ever want to do THAT again. But it is kind of sweet to listen in.
I have always loved those moments of getting to know someone, the initial evaluations running through your mind, the thrill of a spark if there is one...the Great Possibilities. That is a wonderful feeling.
In a way, we are always getting to know each other. I could easily ask my husband, "Who are you now?" And I cannot assume the answer. So much of life gets in the way of seeing each other, knowing each other as we change and grow. Which theoretically makes for endless opportunities to discover something new, to connect, to feel that spark.
Last night on TV we watched reruns. The first one was The Office, showing Pam and Jim's conflicted and tied up marriage after babies and years of each making unilateral decisions, and them both feeling lost from each other. It was painful to watch, and familiar. But at the end of the episode, Pam has a flashback from their wedding day in her mind, and releases (finally) into Jim's awkward hug, forgiving, giving him love again. It was really quite beautiful. This was followed by a rerun of Parks and Rec, the episode of Leslie and Ben's spontaneous and hilarious wedding day, ending with their friends singing, "Little Sebastian." I write this for those of you who saw these shows, as there really is no way to explain the nuances of a long-running sitcom and how such silly shows can catch you up in your throat and make you suddenly believe in love, right there in your living room at ten o'clock at night, after twelve years together.
I wrote Scott a very long and heartfelt thank you this afternoon, for being an incredible father, for being a man I could put my faith in, a man I could trust and love. He is amazing with our kids. I am grateful for the moments we have shared with them, and I remain aware that those are fleeting and precious. I try to stay conscious, aware, and pay attention. I try to let love flow through the days...in, out, through.
So darling, I'll meet you in the bookstore parking lot some time, and we can hold each other like new lovers. Maybe we can step back and let our bodies feel for a moment that strong pull, that not wanting to let go. And then we might hold hands and walk away, together.