Clear skies on a beautiful November evening and nearly 70 degrees, I walk along the coast making my way to the pier. More crowded than usual, I am not the only one drawn here to enjoy the unseasonably warm weather. Large snowflake lights strung in rows across Main Street and the Christmas tree waiting for its annual lighting are the only indicators that winter is waiting in the wings. Noticing that nearly everyone I pass is donning shorts and lightweight hoodies, I may be wearing one too many layers. I am a little toasty, but it feels good. I never complain about too many warm nights, they draw people out of their homes, making my evening walks livelier, more interesting. Along with the stars and the moon they often influence my thoughts and my stories.
My walks tend to have themes, running like a super 8 in my mind as I mark the miles. Ideas and emotions can be triggered by a single thought, and a story unfolds; a childhood memory, life altering decisions or events and related emotions of nostalgia, grief, loss ,longing and even happiness. Sometimes, I ruminate over a single event searching for meaning, its lesson, or an opportunity to play it differently, a second chance.
Tonight love is in the air and there is no escaping it, I revel in its ubiquity. Couples hold hands, fingers laced and locked. Some stroll arm in arm, leaning into one another so heavily that an abrupt shift by one could send the other stumbling, instead they maintain a balance, certain of the other’s unwavering support. Some kiss playfully, while others are passionate with their display of affection. One young couple skips with long exaggerated steps, singing and laughing they look back over their shoulders and shout to a friend, asking her to join them. The reluctant friend smiles, shakes her head and seems to sense love in bloom. I can almost hear the retelling of this story some years later, Yeah, I remember when you two were falling in love, acting all goofy and wanting me to skip with you on the pier. Of course I have no way of knowing the depth of all this love, if it’s real or if it will last. But tonight, for me, it appears perfect and beautiful.
I choose a different route for the walk home. I meander through the motorhome encampment; a neighborhood that changes every weekend as new visitors uniquely decorate their space, their home away from home. I pass many large groups, several families camping together. But, I am struck by the couples, stripped of creature comforts, contently sitting near a warm fire, sharing a simple meal and enjoying each other’s company. As I reach the quieter end of the lot, music softly plays, while a couple wrapped in warm embrace, slowly shuffles, a real life moon dance. Yep, love’s beauty appears to be everywhere.
Away from the crowds, I pick up the pace through the dark neighborhood streets. I’m home in no time. I make myself a bowl of cereal, plop down in front of the TV and look for something mindless to watch while I am eating. Being a sucker for romance, I decide to catch the last half hour of Sex and the City, the movie. No judgement please. So much love is professed in that last half hour; it’s an absolute mega dose of sap. It’s the ridiculous romance that I dream of, a change of heart, a declaration of undying love, another chance. I love every minute.
So the credits roll and I sit here with my now empty bowl and ponder. Why so many messages about love tonight? If I believe that all I see is a reflection of my own thoughts, all my mind and heart desire, then I’ve definitely got love on the brain. But when I look ahead, I cannot see a future that includes a love life . . . I cannot conjure up desire or even hope. For me love still equals heartache. For now, I am much more comfortable admiring love from a distance.
Perhaps the message is to enjoy love in the here and now, th love of my family and friends, to not look back on its disappointments or wonder about its future.
Perhaps the Universe is just saying . . .
Hey Christine, even though you’re taking a break from a love life, love still exists, it abounds, and it will be here waiting when you’re ready. Don’t overthink it.