Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Can I count the ways?

I find myself sometimes getting really bogged down in the daily humdrum of chores, shopping, cleaning, etc., to the point that I lose sight of why I do it all in the first place. My mom still does it time to time, even after having been married for over a decade (I am reasonably sure that every single one of us does this from time to time). Sometimes all I need to do is recollect and reflect on all the reasons that I love that certain someone...

So in a sickly sweet to display of affection that may very well bring you to the point of regurgitation, here is my list: (Please avert your eyes if you are easily made queasy!)

  1. Your hands, and the callouses on your fingers and thumbs from playing the guitar, working out and riding a bike (I feel they are very demonstrative of you overall).
  2. The way you dance...because I feel a little less silly of the way I dance when I'm dancing with you.
  3. Your bellybutton.
  4. How you really honestly care about my sisters and my best friends and you never ever are jealous of my relationship with them.
  5. How you can put up with my serious case of the crazies and still let me snuggle when we go to bed, even if you are still a little angry.
  6. Your sincere attempt at a moustache.
  7. The way you smell.
  8. Your family.
  9. How you are way more technologically savvy than I am.
  10. Your deviated septum, which I see every time I hug you because I am just that much shorter than you.
  11. That you challenge me--on my beliefs, my ideas, my taste in music.
  12. Your insatiable love of garlic...(and spinach, and enchiladas).
  13. That you make me feel comfortable and safe.
  14. That you are stubborn as shit sometimes, just for the sake of being stubborn.
  15. That you finally accept that sometimes (okay, most of the time) I really just like watching bad TV, and you leave the room and let me get my fix without a battle.
  16. The million and one back scratches and foot rubs that you provide.
  17. Your ears that still have the holes in them from when you had plugs back in high school.
  18. That my chest still gets tight and my palms a little sweaty when I think about you.
  19. A million other little things that make you--from your eyebrows to your elbows, all of your absurdities, your kindness, your silliness, your heart, your toes, your hugs.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

As the leaves begin to fall

I woke up the other night to a cold wind winding its way through my apartment, leaving my arms and shoulders covered in goose bumps. I shrunk down into the warm ocean of blankets, intertwined my legs with the much hairier pair of my boyfriend's and smiled to myself. Autumn had arrived.

Autumn has forever been my favorite time of year. Growing up in Georgia, we always started school in the dead heat of August. My legs would stick to the blue plastic seats in the unbearably humid trailer that functioned as a classroom to alleviate some of the overcrowding. By October though, the oppressive weather would begin to lift; a crunchy frost would coat the grass in the dark mornings; leaves, already browned because of a decades-long drought, would begin to float off the trees and turn to mush on the lawn. As a child, Autumn meant lightweight jackets, Jack-o-lanterns, toasted pumpkin seeds and Thanksgiving. It meant getting to see my Papa Don and spending time sitting on the counter as my mom made dinner--the smell of spaghetti permeating our house.

As I got older, the onset of cool weather often signified that some change was coming. After the divorce, my dad met his first new wife in the beginning of Fall at a restaurant called Barnacles and married her the following winter on my 11th birthday. My mom remarried the next September in a tiny chapel in the Appalachian mountains. When I was seventeen, Autumn brought a new state and a new university. When I was eighteen, Autumn meant dropping out of school and purchasing a one-way ticket to Europe with no plan of return.

Two years ago, Autumn brought me back together with the bf on a cool crisp day. We came together in the long stretch of park next to my old apartment, pumping our legs hard on a pair of rickety wooden swings that hung by yellow rope from two tall, ancient oak trees. The higher we went, the less we could remember about why we parted ways to begin with. Within days I was back in that happy place, in the crook of his arm, where I could smell his warm skin and where everything wrong with the world no longer existed.

Autumn, I realize, is my season of renewal. It is the time that I create new friendships and reestablish relationships that I have let falter throughout the year. It is a time of intellectual reawakening and new projects. It is the time where all decisions that will affect the outcome of the following year are made. Most of all, Autumn is a season of love and family, and that will never change.