“Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable.” -Bruce Lee
I have been working out a life with the same guy for 30 years. When I try to remember the girl who fell for him at 19, I feel like I am telling a story about a girl I read about in a novel. I think this is why reminiscing with him about the many relationships we have shared and thinking of the thousands of times I have physically loved him feels a little like a fable. Memory takes care of sorting the times and although I do have vivid déjà vu’s of our most essential conflicts, mostly I feel proud and strong in the shelter of the love and family we have built.
Today, we were working side by side in the garden, he digging in the soil, me directing and potting the plants. I sometimes forget how well we worked together with our hands and our backs. The years of carrying and soothing crying babies have left us with mostly the mental strain of unpredictable teenagers. Our early years raising farm animals and mending fences, when manual labor was part of our relating landscape has been replaced by the more cerebral exchanges of trying to balance our budget. He can still exert so much energy without breaking a sweat.
Before we finished the planting, it started to rain. It was actually a downpour, which is not uncommon for autumn in the northwest. The quick change of weather and the cold hard raindrops were exciting. I was a girl running in the rain again. We could have been us from 20 years before. This is all it takes to spark a passion in a long old love.
The only other place when time seems to slip backward with regularity is in our intimacy.
We connect with all the energetic power we have invested over all the years together but with more abandon and freedom now. Our history fades back and we are our timeless selves connecting in places that confound space and time boundaries. We journey on the fuel we have invested for decades and are overcome by the deep burning and unquenchable heat that carries a piece of all the fires that preceded it. The heat of this love is the alchemy that famous lovers have always searched for- binding, transforming, timeless.