I’m joining Owlhaven and a group of other great bloggers to tell my love story for October. For more stories check out the comments under each of Owlhaven’s installments.
Loveletters, Our Story
The year I graduated from college was the same year that I finally broke it off with my longterm boyfriend. I went spiraling out into a wild dance of freedom and self confidence. I had stayed with him for over six years but I emerged from that relationship stronger, more resilient and steadfast in who I was.
When Wildwood Papa called to tell me he was coming down to visit, I wasn’t surprised. It had been years since we had even talked but lately I had felt magnetic, drawing energy like some wild, spinning planet.
Some of our mutual friends were camping out at the Copper Mines, a lovely spot by the river in the mountains. Two of them didn’t have a tent, he told me, they would need to borrow his, so could we share my tent? I smiled to myself and I said yes, simple as that.
At the Mines, I was a lizard in the sun, stretched out and glowing in the warm buttery sunlight by the river. We hadn’t talked all day. The old familiar ease between us had disappeared and in its place a new fierce shyness had taken hold. Besides, he seemed overly busy fighting for his life in the rapids with B to be concerned with courting me. What a strange thing, I thought and shrugged. We would know tonight whether there was any shred left of our old romance to claim.
Night fell and we all sat in a circle around the campfire, drinking and talking, enjoying the wild song of the river so close by. When finally he and I were alone in my tent, we fell into each other’s arms, all shyness gone. Words may have failed us, but our bodies remembered that primal connection we had shared so long ago.
We spent a few weeks together, but then he went back to the north and I went back to my job, to my endless questions of what to do now that I had graduated?
We spent the rest of the summer and fall getting to know each other. We went on long, rambling trips together, listening to The Pogues in his Oldsmobile and camping out in the mountains. When we had to go back to our real lives, we wrote letters and charged up the phone bills.
Excerpt from his letter to me:
“There’s something I need to tell you, something you need to know. Here goes: You mean everything to me. I love you with every shred of my being. Now that I have felt your love, I can’t imagine ever being without it.”
He drove down for my birthday party-a wild affair in which we burned the effigy K had sculpted and ran wild through the fields of my parent’s farm.
Suddenly, there was talk of marriage, of rings, of plans for the future. We chose lovely silver, celtic knotwork rings from an artisan in Scotland. I was surprised by my own boldness, by my own fearlessness. Here, I had finally gotten out of a bad relationship and I was ready to try again? But I knew, I just knew that he was the one for me. It felt as though I walked in a dreamscape. I sat on the front porch through the darkest parts of the night, writing letters to him, writing stories for myself.
Excerpt from my letter to him:
“I have patience. I know what I want and where I stand. My feet are where they want to be, my hair falls along my back in its own wistful reunion with the night. There are no stars out tonight. There is only this darkness. I give you my tenderness and my understanding of the sky’s foreign language.”
When I visited him in the winter, he gave me the ring we had picked out online together. We sat side by side on the couch and when he pulled out the ring, my stomach was doing flip flops. He held my hand and before he put the ring on my finger he looked into my eyes. I knew something was wrong.
“I’m not ready.” he said, voice low. “It’s too soon, I’m not sure if this right. I do love you, but I’m just all [messed] up. Maybe this could be a promise ring for now?”
I shook my head, thoughts exploding inside, one after another, rendering me speechless. Then he said, “or maybe just a present?”