quinn’s favorite crayon at the moment is red violet. he has been choosing to color in bed before going to sleep most nights lately, and over the weekend i went in to turn off his light and he had red violet laying directly in the center of his chest, safely tucked there for sleep. it was always my favorite, too. i think i know why, now that i see it lying next to the heart of a sleeping child i love enough to burst my own heart wide open. red violet, the color of love.
i look up and see my man pull the almost-empty jar of pears out of the fridge and open it up with his big man hands and take a swig of the juice that’s left… getting to watch that sure beats my default method of tossing the dregs into the next smoothie. i don’t know how to say this, and it feels vulnerable to admit that all this time i’ve been writing about me and what i’m doing and what i want out of life… this was right up there on that list. it may have been unspoken… i may never have admitted to wanting someone who appreciates, as he calls it, my goofy hippie food. i know i did admit to feelings of loneliness a time or two, in rare instances when i paused long enough in my manic food-gathering endeavors to experience them, but underlying all the gardening and canning and fruit picking and cheese making and skill learning has been a secret longing for someone to share all of it with. i would never undervalue how important this process has been for myself, and in no way has man-getting been my primary motivation (there are many other motivations including my own health and sanity and quinn’s health and education being biggies, not to mention simply feeding ourselves sustainably, literally obtaining the calories needed to maintain homeostasis) but i find now that i am settling into this new phase of life with an enormous appreciation for the extra harvesting i did last summer and a permanent smile when i get to feed it to someone who has been on a vacation from cooking for some time. (surely he won’t be embarrassed if i publish on the internet that i removed a box of falafel mix from his cupboard with a sell-by date sometime in 1997, a bagel from 2008- can i say wow to the ingredient mold inhibitor?, and other items scattered throughout the decade in between).
i know i’m not the only one feeling this way… in a rare january occurrence of nice weather on a non-work day, i spent saturday afternoon pruning blueberry bushes, grapevines, and trees, and hacking away at blackberry canes in one of the garden patches that has been waiting for me to come along… next to a guy who has been waiting for me to come along and do this with. there were years and years of preparation leading up to us being in the same yoga class on the same night… years of fixing his own cars, to get him ready for when he would get to fix mine (and give me rides to work when the mechanic had to fix it more- hard to describe the weight lifted off my shoulders on just the one subject of mechanical stuff). years of me waking up to the farming instinct i’ve harbored since birth, to get me ready for when i would have space to let it loose on. years of us both getting ourselves sorted out and secure and in all other ways ready for this big love. i find myself gently detaching from the need to be entirely self-sufficient. i find myself able to lean on someone who is also gently leaning on me, because we can both stand up straight on our own two feet and have been for quite some time… the give and take is easy to open up to, and i couldn’t have seen that coming, for all my self-sufficient feminist single mama superwoman-ness.
a little over ten years ago, i got to do a retreat where we visualized our future self, ten years hence. my future self was alone, and the leader of the exercise remarked on the rarity of aloneness in that particular exercise. she said most people visualize their future family or friends around them, and i was just me, in a small room/house/yurt, feeling self sufficient and “just enough” and “whole” (words that resonated at the time and ever since that are still written in a prominent place above my desk) and yet with a sense of loved ones nearby (though they were not in the picture). when i left future me, i gave her a kiss on the lips and have wondered ever since, why i was to be alone all my life… why was it that i somehow had to do this whole life thing by myself when everyone else gets to find a mate and settle down happily ever after? you know, it never occurred to me one single time, in all the many times i’ve thought of that visualization (which has clung to me like water ever since), that year eleven would come along. but now i suddenly see the red violet writing on the wall…