It was very early this morning. When I was awakened from sleep by a kiss on my neck. A Happy Birthday whispered from his lips as I sat up from the cocoon of covers. He had brought me cafe au lait, made as every generation before us has made it, in Southern Louisiana. The sun peeked in, I heard laughter downstairs. He assured me he would be gone only for a few hours then we had the day. I smiled love with my mouth but he saw my heavy heart through my eyes. Ever the gentle man that he is, he stroked my face with his big hand. His tenderness was my undoing, and a fat tear escaped and plopped into my coffee. With murmurs of my baby, come here. He took my coffee and set it down and scooted into bed near me. Gathered me in his arms as we lay back into the pillows.
The tears came freely now. All the loss, all the years, my son so far away, My parents. So much change and so far still to go. The beauty of us, the complications of us. And the acceptance of 43.
In his deep southern, sweet honey drawl, he smoothed my curls and held me to him……
Once upon a time, in a very old town there lived a small, red headed girl. She lived in a tree, hidden behind sheets of moss. Spent her days riding the streetcar and in the dusty top shelves of the grand old library on St Charles. She shared her meals with ants and squirrels, sang to the blue jay who stopped by every morning for cocoa. She hid in plain sight and wrote in small pink books of her every day world, her dreams and plans. Her hopes that someone might one day give her a place to belong. She liked the night, for she could walk about without questions that she had no answers for. She liked to sit near the Mississippi and listen to it churn. She hid in shadows of the bars, listened to the laughter and beat of the music. She watched family drive by in cars and wondered what their lives were like.
The small girl grew slightly bigger and one day got on a great flying beast. She tremored and waited to fall from the sky, as she wove through thousands of miles of clouds. When she landed she walked into her first adventure. Sitting on a woven stool taking in the color she felt a sharp bite to her ankle. Adventure had come for her when she wasn’t looking for it.
Quickly the small girl grew in smallness. Until she was just the perfect height. She tried many times to find a home that resembled her moss covered tree. But none fit quite right. She kept falling down on life and it cut her and broke pieces of her. Yet every time, she got back up and went ran harder into her search. After a long while, she grew into her place and began to shine with the radiance of ten suns. She had the strength of goliath and the bravery of a fool. Her merry band of Lost and Loved followed her everywhere. Whether in her tiny house in New Orleans or onto the edge of volcanos. But the question always remained, why had that small red haired girl lived in a moss covered oak tree? Why was she always falling?
The little red headed girl, who shown so bright, couldn’t seem to see the light all around her. So a scruffy man with a beard, came and collected her, took her to get special spectacles, so that she might clearly gaze around her. And do you know the glasses were so powerful she saw, for the first time… clear to his heart, and within, was moss covered oak tree.
Sully: yes baby?
Me: You are my favorite love story.