Valentine's Day Tribute To Love
and Mail, Feb 14, 2002
Like many other men, I have loved a
woman for a great
many years. Like some others, I have had the good fortune to
that loved returned. And as best I can without sounding too
or maudlin, I’d like to tell you about it.
Just as I
begin, I tell my wife what I am writing about, and she tells me to
all the difficult times. I get angry because I want to
the good times that stand out against the bad times, and make the whole
thing magical. But that’s just one
I can feel myself off on a tangent that is central to our
Being a Persephone, willing to live in the dark world, she has no
with the dark moment. I, unable to tolerate such depths, want
sing of our days in the sunshine.
Let me begin
again. Everyone enjoys a roaring fire, but the fires that, in
mind, are best are those that have died down a bit and glow deeply,
off a greater warmth. Which is my way of saying that the
light of our romantic years have mellowed into something that is as
and pleasurable as a late summer afternoon.
We sit at
opposite ends of our old comfortable couch, which we should have
think of it as sitting in opposite ends of a canoe, distant and safe
the wild creatures that prowl the shoreline. We turn off the television
set, refuse to answer the telephone, and talk with each other, of
the night before, of daytime angst and hurts, and other seemingly
things. I think of two animals preening each other, combing
and scratching out of reach places.
she reads, and I watch her, happy in her presence. Or, more
delighting in her presence as I watch her, unobserved. So
a thing, perhaps too
but for me, as I look across at
the row of
candles burning on the mantel over the fireplace, I am truly in love,
filled with such a deep contentment and joy that I feel I am about to
In bed, of
course, there are intimate moments of pleasure when I feel like a
about to feast on earthly delights. But most times there is
the evening ritual of whispering to the other the question du nuit:
or hugger?” And we fall asleep front to back or
on the whim of the moment, and drift off in that bliss of falling
in the arms of the beloved.
are the not infrequent trips to a local bistro where we enter into the
drama of the rendezvous. I arrive early. Always
a glass of wine and wait in eager anticipation for her
an exquisite waiting! Will she come? Will she be
me? Have I worn the right shirt? The foreplay of
is climaxed by her appearance in the doorway. God, what a
woman, I think to myself, and rise to greet her with a kiss, to be
by her breathtaking smile.
And that brings
to mind her laugh. Such a laugh! I feel like
every time I make her laugh.
I need to stop, but I can’t, not now. There are
predict them... Once when we were watching a sunset, I turned to
Once when we were at a wedding, I saw her face.
was weeding in the garden, she looked at me. At those times her
take on a radiance, like I am seeing the beauty of her soul. Or is it
the sheer radiance of her being? Or am I seeing her through
of a lover?
For that moment
I know beyond all doubt that I am one of the luckiest men in the world.
I have been blessed with one of life’s greatest
women in ways I was never able to twenty years ago, and somehow I sense
there is still more to this thing called love -- more that will unfold
in the years ahead.
I look up
and there she is standing with beckoning arms, and we dance out through
the kitchen, down the hall and back again. And I am suddenly
back to the old Palais Royale, where I met her -- and discovered we
together like I couldn’t with anyone else.
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