It’s just one year, he said. One year and everything will be okay. One year and you’ll be amazed, I said. Comforting himself in the thoughts of lemon and rosemary, that kitchen of hers on a spring day where she sat next to her window, words and more words stretching from her pen. There was nothing she could do other than see herself. No more, no less. Her skin breathed tomorrow, her muscles ached from how yesterday appeared. Did she learn? Yes. Did he learn? Who knows. It mattered little anymore because she had changed. The sun beckoned and when she walked, she was taller, looser, trembling only at the way the wind brushed through the spreading wings of the new tree she’d planted the prior winter. I’d left my past behind when I saw they lived in deep gray, and yet I opened their eyes to the sensation of time. They never knew me anyhow, and it was okay. Always, more than okay. Better for wear and under Oregon skies, she breathed out loud those words on a mic, HERE, I am to be HEARD. No hiding, the way she put her face up against his neck when he saw her, the way he unselfconsciously drew her near – she knew there was only one today. One year of grass and sea and words and she was okay. More than okay. She was loved, and for the first time, she stood and said it out loud. Again. There was a whistling in the wind that night and he remembered all that he’d promised her, how there was more to her than met the eye, how he was seen by her in deeper ways than skin, than heart, than blood. The walk continued, the story never ceased, the tide still rushed in, the cold still surrounded her in the mornings and drifted off as the days went on. I don’t know, she said, but maybe, you never know, perhaps, someday…and he buried his face in her neck, where she was warm. Her sanctuary, his home, their unknown.
Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake. ~Wallace Stevens