Matt’s birthday is Sunday. This hasn’t been our best year, I’m not going to lie. Lots of moving pieces. Lots of time together. But we are still here. We are mostly still laughing. We have a new dog. We have two teenagers, one of whom is going to college. We are talking about a large renovation (rather than a move). Our lives seem to prove, over and over again, that the only constant is change. It’s not easy, but it’s not dull, and I think that’s the goal, ultimately.
Matt, you know I like to read poetry (you learned the hard way that I don’t love Emily Dickinson) and Wendell Berry is one of my favorites. This poem makes me think of us and the frontier ahead. There is darkness and change, but there is also joy and light, I know it, I know it, I know it.
Here are photos of you with our beloveds. And the last photo, which is messy and blurry, kind of represents what things feel like right now.
Happy birthday. I love you.
They sit together on the porch, the dark
Almost fallen, the house behind them dark.
Their supper done with, they have washed and dried
The dishes–only two plates now, two glasses,
Two knives, two forks, two spoons–small work for two.
She sits with her hands folded in her lap,
At rest. He smokes his pipe. They do not speak,
And when they speak at last it is to say
What each one knows the other knows. They have
One mind between them, now, that finally
For all its knowing will not exactly know
Which one goes first through the dark doorway, bidding
Goodnight, and which sits on a while alone.
~Wendell Berry “They Sit Together on the Porch”