There was a time in my life when working in the outdoors was the last thing on the planet that I ever wanted to do. Give me housework or getting wood ready for winter, I would chose housework. But as I have gotten older this has changed. The pivotal moment was that first Thanksgiving, right after the ex left, when my brother and I puttered around his yard, and shed and garage pretty much all day. I suddenly felt closer to the men in my family, to him, to my grandfather, to my dad. There was also the intense woods time I got in those first months, now years. The peace and calm that it brought me, the momentary quiet in the chaos of my broken heart. It was not a new thing, but a returning, like coming home after a long absence.
The pirate is a hunter and he has a piece of property in a nearby town. And on a previous occasion I mentioned that I would like to see it. We went up on Sunday and he showed the piece of land to me. He was preparing paths to the various tree stands he has. He went ahead with a larger machete and cleared a path in the long weeds and shrubs. I was behind with another machete practicing the technique. I am sure he could have done it himself, but I widened some areas that he left narrow and he weed whacked out the bits the machetes didn’t touch and I pulled out some thick deeply entrenched root balls and strands from some shrubbery that had taken over the main path. It took all of my body weight to pull those roots out. For once in my life I am thankful for being a fatty. I got a pretty good work out. This morning my arms, and abdomen, my lower back and the backs of my legs are sore from the labor of it.
I struggle with understanding where things are going and what I mean to him. I only know that when I am with him I have that same feeling, a feeling of returning home after a long absence, and as I stood in the middle of his property loving the sweat and the easy interaction of being with him I whispered to God, see this is what I want. This. Is. What. I. Want. And for a moment it did not feel like I was asking too much.
I told my Mom, who reads this blog and will undoubtedly comment later in a way that I that makes me feel ashamed, that I don’t know what is happening with the pirate. I only know my own heart. And my heart I have learned is a damned undependable thing. It lied to me for years. I can no longer trust it. I also was snotty to my Mom because people who are in long term committed relationships, don’t know what it is to try and make do all by yourself. Sometimes it downright sucks. I am comfortable sewing alone all day, or watching Mad Men until every last episode has run out leaving me jonesing for the next release, I am happy writing and reading and filling up the bare moments with a solid internal life. But I want to share a home with someone, want to cook for someone because I waste so much food, I can only eat potato leek soup so many times before the last of it is thrown away. I want to work side by side with someone, want to share the financial burdens and workload with someone. It can be so overwhelming. In the end I have to sell my house and downsize. I wait for my daughter to finish school, our proximity is worth the remaining two year struggle. But I can no longer afford this living situation.
What I do know is that he thinks of me when he is away from me, judging by the thoughtful token gifts. What I do know is that he brings me an unexpected bucket of blackberries when he stops by to drop off the fudge for my daughter that I forgot, and later he remembers all on his own. That he shows me the wallpaper on his phone a picture of cobwebs in the setting sun that I sent him. That when I delete his digits from my phone to force myself to stop calling and texting and getting no response which leaves me feeling stupid and needy though I am smart and independent and I just want to leave the ball in his court, but I do not wait long before he calls and texts. That when I am all hot and sweaty he pulls me close and kisses me, more than once, passionately. That we joke about the excellent practice we are getting for the slow moving zombie apocalypse. And the sweet little picnic we make of shared food and drink. That when we talk about his hunting in the season to come, he promises the neck so I can make mincemeat. And that when he sees the work I did he softly tells me, good job on that. And high fives me for the work well done. I feel valued. Though like it was with my dad the words of praise are few and far between, when they come they are worth so much more to me.
See God, this is all that I want. I won’t pray for more than that I find the ability to trust in you and have faith in you. And in the meantime, I cross my fingers and toes. I watch him as he works in his old blue jeans a shirt in a deep forest green, a color that rivals my favorite purple. I don’t know if he will find me to be an acceptable mate, but I have to say either way. I want to be right here, with him, in my life, just because he feels like home.