This summer I learned what it is to be in love. I don’t yet know how to not be in love, any longer. I honestly can say I am not in any hurry to figure it out quite yet.
So, it did not work out. I had a choice in the matter, as did he. It was mutual. Mutual is good. Mutual does not mean “easy.” Mutual does not mean “not in love anymore.” Mutual might mean “not now” or “not ever again” or “a great learning experience” or “a way to amicably part while things are decent and a friendship is salvageable.” I don’t have the answer yet and I think that is okay since it has only been seventeen days. Seventeen. Such a short amount of time, yet such a long amount of time.
Tonight, a car ride with Chris and Sarah found my body travelling from Seattle to Lynnwood, and back again. Triggered by the songs on Sarah’s iPhone, my mind was travelling to the brighter, warmer months of June, July, August, and September. I got to thinking about the small moments, the moments leading up to acts of love. The building blocks that allow the love to be realized. Sometimes it is not about the big moments- the passionate embrace or kiss or fight or makeup or grand, romantic date. Don’t get me wrong, these things are great and should never to be taken for granted. However, sometimes, at least what I have found, the moment of importance is what lies before the actual culmination of that moment- the slow and precautionary inkling that you maybe, quite possibly are falling for this person that comes right before knowing you are in love. Taking that leap faith, forgetting every inhibition, and loving– loving with all that you are.
Do you know that feeling?
The overwhelming excitement you feel in the pit of your stomach when you are driving to see them for the first time in too long that makes you giggle and belt out every word to every song on the radio, making you jitter and speed, needing to remind yourself every few minutes that you are a safe driver and need to slow down;
Or the skip of the heart when you see them from a distance;
Recognizing the opening chords and hums of your song (ho, hey) before you sing the words (I belong with you, you belong with me, you’re my sweetheaaart);
The spark of your fingertips touching before your fingers become entwined;
The intake of breathe before a kiss;
The pounding of the heart before the initial embrace;
The silence that comes before saying I love you.
The silence that comes after saying I love you, where after the euphoria fades, an overwhelming feeling of rightness settles in.
The soft whispers and silent walks and growing, always growing. Together, together. Not saying a word but walking in step and feeling the love well up and spill over, igniting and illuminating the deepest reaches of your heart and soul. Not saying a word, but content to find rest and peace in each other’s arms.
That is being in love. An aspect of it, at least. These quiet pre- moments, or in- between moments, or post- moments that can be easily forgotten amidst the “big” moments. They do not pale in comparison, though. They mean more than the world and make me believe that love is real and always to be found.
It is winter and I miss summer more than I ever have. And in the times that I feel cold and sad and the tears welling up, I think back to these little, quiet moments for joy and warmth and hope at what is to come.