I stared out onto a familiar sidewalk lined with chairs and tables, a welcome respite for downtown dwellers. I prayed, "Lord, please let me see You in this moment." So many books telling me how to drink...but what I need is the Water.
Before the muddled sentence was complete my husband inexplicably was standing next to me, asking if the opposite seat at my table was taken. I hadnt heard the pockmarked boards creak beneath his feet, hadnt felt him walk in, right past me. Had no idea of his presence. Hadnt even heard him tell Jeremy his order of chocolate croissant (heated, if you dont mind) and cafecreme. But there he was. Makes me tear up now looking back on the Provision, the already on the way answer.
Lost between the moment of the desperate mental whisper of my prayer and his knockout eyes requesting entrance to my most private of worlds, I ... I ... forced a smile. I have forced smiles down pat, I do.
He knows the first layover of my Sabbath flight. I am a creature of incessant habit. He also knows I do no writing there, simply a beginning, an entering, an ushering into rest as I sit, steaming porcelain in hand, and begin the undoing that my world has done for the previous 6 days. And today he wanted to be there with me. Or Someone wanted him there.
Now, hours later, I have moved on alone to the other coffee shop where I read and write and pray and cry...and today laugh, smile, sing outloud at times (Wide Open Spaaaaces I belted a bit ago), eat chocolate smuggled in from a nearby healthfood store (God save the Orangepeel Chocolove) and buy way too many refills. My toe taps the floor as I listen to my eldest's "fun" playlist. Oh how that girl can choose the music! Its a cross section of America, Bill Idol, Rascal Flatts, Van Morrison, Lenny Kravitz, James Taylor, Jack Johnson, Dixie Chicks and ABBA: a beautiful trainwecked mess of her soulful boho and Texas roots. I do so adore her and her ways. The owner of the coffee shop eyes me... I think my headphones are giving away the excessive volume. Its empty here at this hour. I smile (a real one) and sing on apologetically. 41 year olds sing fun songs too. If they stop to.
I think my husband came this morning to mix things up a bit...to remind me to laugh on Fridays. He came to remind me that one day we stood just up the street and to the right of the Champs Elysees, which was painted upon the wall near us. He came to remind me that we have stopped to dance in the rain, while running through lifes seasons. He came to remind me the sky is not falling. He came to remind me of the chorus of Beast of Burden; I listened as he, unaware, hummed it as knife pierced pastry. He came to sit and share and be my friend. I have loved and hated this man - equally on both ends of the stringcourse of emotion.
"Lord, please let me see You in this moment."
The scent of Neroli oil surrounds me. Doused myself in it when I picked up the chocolate at the healthfood store. It used to be Patchouli but it made Ruths husband ill, so I retired it. Apparently it lingered for weeks in his car. I have no idea what that says about me but Im quite sure it says something. Not the Ruths husband part, but the wearing of Neroli oil. I think somewhere in that scent though is who I really want to be: blossom from the bitter orange, sweet, honeyed but somewhat metallic. I have felt lost for so long now. How does one find the way back to who they were Designed to be? Its a blind faith walk through deserts neverending, a clawing through snowpacked passes and seasons of crying and waiting beside the Still Waters that refuel - its Fellowship of the Ring, is what it is.
"Dancing Queen" carols in my ears and I remember skating round and round the rink as a tween. Wearing my favorite blue satin track shorts with white trim and matching blouson. Working my favorite "shoot the duck move", the one my girls so love to make fun of. I laugh outloud.
It is so good to laugh. I was parched for it.