This was automatically reposted from last fall after I was told to remove some images that I had infringed. I didn't know. Anyway, I thought I'd just leave it here. It reminds me of a recent comment my friend Chris left about a small but powerful, everyday kind of memory.
Tonight was one of those evenings I spent alone with Heidi. Devin is at USC in his second year.He has an apartment now with a couple friends. He’s loving life. Colin is spending the evening with his girlfriend who is heading off to college herself. So Heidi and I had a regular evening together by ourselves.
This time, while we are alone, is a harbinger of the time to come. Next year Colin will be at college as well and I expect that we’ll have many evenings where it is just the two of us. I like these quiet times. We each had a regular workday. Heidi and I both taught at the Center for Inquiry. She taught her graduate class of earnest mostly young adults studying to be teachers. I taught my earnest third graders. And for a while our classes melded into one big learning community as Heidi’s students and mine got together for some literacy engagements.
When we got home we worked around the house, Heidi doing some gardening while I cleaned out my grungy car. Then we took a walk. Nothing too memorable. Except this is exactly the kind of night I would like to remember. Forever.
It was not a vacation somewhere big like Hawaii, or a wedding or the birth of a baby. I like the big box memories too, don’t get me wrong. But it is the every day little things that add up to make me so happy in this love and in this life.
When we walked to the dock with the dog (she can’t make the big walk with us anymore) we saw the most beautiful setting sun. The temperature has finally gotten into the comfortable range. The humidity is low. The light from that setting sun in Heidi's pretty green eyes made my heart beat just a little faster. It always does.
After dropping Sasha off we headed out to the point where there is another lovely view of the lake. We talked about the day, the boys, our families. We held hands, and gazed out at the birds. We laughed and got serious. There was this little green snake warming its cold-blooded self on the road. I almost stepped on it. Heidi pointed it out to me and we watched it slither up into the grass where it blended in so perfectly as it glided along that it became invisible to us in no time. I thanked her for showing me that little snake. I would have missed it.
When we got home she showed me the new blossoms on the moon vine we have out back. Two perfect, white, saucer sized flowers had just opened up and fairly glowed in the early evening light. I would have missed them if Heidi hadn’t shown them to me. I thanked her for those two flowers as well.
Then just a little while later, as I was doing the dinner dishes Heidi stuck her head in and told me to come quickly outside. Hovering around the big white flowers was a sphinx moth, one of those big beautiful moths that hovers while it sips nectar and looks amazingly like a tiny hummingbird. She knows what I love.
Now, Heidi is sleeping on the couch after this tiring day. I can see her chest rising and falling.Her face is relaxed and beautiful. Her breathing is music to me. Tuesday, August 30, 2011. 31 years and counting.