Huddled by the gas cooker at one end of our cabin last night, waiting for the water to heat for our hot water bottles, Hugh and I had a hasty discussion in low voices.
‘God, it’s Valentine’s day tomorrow, have you done anything?’
‘No have you?’
‘Well,’…. a hesitation…’shall we just… do nothing?’
‘Ok, if we both promise.’
‘Cool…’ we poured the hot water bottles and went to bed, but it felt wierd.
It’s not that we usually indulge in lavish displays of gifts and meals out, but we usually make a card and write a poem for each other, and Hugh usually picks some flowers and I might buy some little edible treat to share in the evening. A tangible reminder of our love and appreciation of each other in the midst of the turmoil and rush that our lives can sometimes be. Cutting through the hasty communication and barbed retorts, the rumbling resentments and sniping that it is so easy to fall into, despite our best love and intentions; the Valentines day poem never fails to reach the beautiful core of why we are together, and warms the cold February morning.
I put aside the futile and petty moans about what I think he should or shouldn’t be doing and appreciate not only the practical genius of a man that has, after all, almost singlehandedly built our home, but the understanding , encouragement and acceptance he extends to me.
The man who reminds me, even though its really up to me to organise, that I need to take some time to myself, and look after myself..(my back, my sleep deprivation, need for solitude)
The man who accepted me and two children who weren’t his and happily loved them as his own and then loved the two that we produced too! And who lightens a tense moment with craziness and laughter.
The man who has brought so much wisdom and love into our family and works with me as we guide the children through the maze of our life together.
The man who slows down when I speed up to remind me that really, is it that important? (yeah I admit this one is challenging!!)
The man who quietly carries out a myriad of practical chores evey day which easily become invisible until he goes away for a few days…
The man who breaks the rules and breaks out of the constraints of duty and ‘shoulds’ because that’s where the gold is.
The man who loves me…
But now we’ve agreed….we’ve just moved, we’re still struggling with water and toilet issues and a multitude of practical (more on this next post Laurel, promise) we’re both really busy, do we really have time to create beautiful poetry before bed?
So we woke up today in a very ordinary way, and I came to town to write in a cafe where there is power, and I suddenly realise that Valentine’s day is tomorrow! We got the day wrong! It’s not today.
Better get writing…….