It’s funny how you get used to all the rhythms that are peaceful in your home, and begin to take them for granted. It’s much easier to focus on the hard parts of living in relationship. Any marriage, no matter how happy, consists of two souls with different needs and wishes and sometimes widely varying ways of seeing this big world. It can be easy to focus solely on the squeaky spots, the places that lack harmony, to feel frustrated that even after years of living together it can be hard to see the world through another’s eyes.
But the good. It’s right there all around me too. If only I would remember to see it and savor it and breathe it in.
Over the weekend my husband took our teens to snow camp, which left me home alone with our two youngest girls on Valentine’s Day. The girls and I look forward to this weekend each year almost as much as the folks who actually get to go someplace. We’ve turned it into a girls’ weekend, where we stay up late and sleep in the living room and watch movies and paint our nails and play games and go on little outings that we rarely make time to do during the rest of the year. Oh, we had a good time!
But this year, maybe because of the Valentine’s-Day-that-wasn’t, I also felt the absence of my husband much more keenly. It seemed that everywhere I turned, there was something not quite right because he wasn’t there. The fire in the wood stove went out over and over, all weekend long. We forgot to feed the cows in the evening until it was nearly dark. No firewood magically appeared on the hearth when we needed it. I woke in the middle of the night realizing I’d forgotten to lock up the house, then scurried barefoot to lock everything up, pushing back a hint of the dread I felt as a child when walking through the dark night to the bathroom alone.
Each little moment of unbalance reminded me how much I take for granted. How much my husband nurtures and cares for me, quietly and automatically, simply because he savors his role as my lover and protector. There have been moments where I resent his protectiveness, crankily ‘reading’ it to mean that he thinks I am not competent. But this weekend of missing him made me see it clearer. He serves me in these little ways because he cherishes me, plain and simple. He wants me to move through life with warmth and safety and comfort and ease.
That’s all it is.
And yet it is so much.