I think of You tonight and of the 30 years you've given me as a gift. How I could have been a different person than the one I am today if I didn't feel the freedom to Be. MArriage is hard work anyway and when you add cultural and ethnic differences, it makes it all the more challenging.
You have always walked 10 paces ahead of me and so I've learned from your wisdom and sense of clarity about issues that are confounding and discombabulating when I think about this world. I remember the years of agonizing over the rightness and wrongness of decisions made until slowly these gave way to something else... a lightening of the load by simply whittling down your wants and needs. The ego surrendered to the call of the Deep and from then on, you made it possible to just stand and be a witness to my own coming-full-circle. I used to wonder about this surrender - whether it's what you really wanted to do for yourself. Now, many years later, it just feels like the flow of water meandering as it will and where it will. It feels good.
When the mind is not trying to think too much of big and complicated messes, I can settle in the joy of just being here now with you and the dwelling place we have made. This place that is a refuge for others in search of calm and peace. This place is a heart and hearth for the small community of wanderers who have been drawn to the words I have sent out to the world.
But this too shall pass one day and a new generation will take over. They will find their own peace, their own sense of self and place. They will write their own words. Make their own communities. MAybe they will remember us. Or maybe not.
I am building a House of Origins, I tell myself. Everything in this house will contain a story, a seed that has sprouted and given sustenance to those who come here. I want Noah to know these stories. I want Dustin to tell him these stories.
Noah will know and carry the story of how a small prairie town in Montana carved itself into your soul and made you as gentle as the breeze, as open as the big sky, and as strong and rugged as the badlands. The land gave you its stillness and silence and it whispered the wisdom that you carry with you. And the day I met you I knew that I would grow to love your story, even its shadows, and that we would move forward together writing a new story.
Noah will know and carry the story of an island girl whose spirit couldn't be silenced by centuries of colonial madness. He will carry the story of how the tropical winds that blew me into this continent also carried with it the seeds that will come to bloom in due time. All the blooming that his father nurtures in him comes from that place of sun and sand as well as the place of the big sky that he has yet to see.
So this year, I celebrate You. You as Stone Cloud. You as Saint Maximus. You as chicken whisperer. You as lover of the Great Mother.
What a Gift you are to me!