This Great Love to Share

We sat alone by the river when the comet streaked above our heads, a sharp, clear line that burned into the black.  It was a split-second sky-mark, but I can still see it when I pull out the memory.  In those days, we spent minutes and hours in silence.  Words are important, but, right then, it was all too much for words to muddy, and we knew what needed knowing, anyway.

In the middle of the night, we sat on hard stones and watched each other through the bonfire.  He wore the flames like a wreath around his head.  He was sure and certain of his heart; I was timid and bold by turns. Love is often too large to hold quietly, but I did.

We had no long talks late into the night about our future, about the number of children we should have, or about the best colors for a wedding.  We didn't discuss how we'd handle finances nor with what fabric we'd reupholster our couches when the stuffing spilled through.   Mostly, there were pools of silence, dark and cool.  Shadows and spaces in which to think and feel.

We talked and laughed and muddled a lot, too, forging our way from here to there.  We wrote words, needful ones and nonsense both, filling pages enough to stretch across the ocean, which they did.    We walked and talked for miles that winter, spring, and summer, and we drove for miles more with music and wind snatching words away.

I suppose the silence stands out because now those pools ring loud and boisterous.   They hold rowdy splashes and rope swings and shouts across the riverbed.  The surface roils with young limbs learning to swim. All this noise and mostly happy chaos sprang forth from pools of silence.
All this love was born of one good friendship. 

Now, again, I hear high-pitched hiccoughs and feel a tiny leg quivering in sleep.  With bony knees drawn to his belly, he's a small, whorled seashell curved into itself.  Little goat grunts and high, squeaky sighs come first, and then his eyes roll back into his head as sleep comes.


Living is knotted and tangled.  It is hard and gritty and ugly in patches.  The earth groans, as it must.  But simplicity waits in the elemental.  Nursing in the middle of the night, half-asleep, a small body lies curled between my friend and I.   The fan spins, the crickets sing, and I find in all the nighttime noises of a family sleeping that here, too, is silence, vast and deep.

And in this silence is great love to share.



Anonymous said...

This is beautiful. Words are your palette, sister.


Abigail said...

As they are for you, right back. Wish I made time more than once a year for using a real palette, though. :)

Renata said...

Just beautiful Abigail. Mine also was a love grown out of friendship! What a blessing it is as life continues on it's turbulent way. Thanks for sharing. Little Aidan is adorable.

Abigail said...

Love out of friendship. It's the best kind, I believe! (But I'm biased.)

Aidan IS adorable. (Oops. I'm biased there, too.)

Rebecca said...

So beautiful.

Sandy said...

These words. That babe. That last pic of lips and wee foot. Glad I stopped by:) And hongera (congratulations) again, on a another piece fitting perfectly into your puzzle. What a lovely picture you all make pieced together as you are.

Abigail said...

Thanks for the congratulations!
The Father weaves master work, doesn't He?

heidiann(e) said...


thank you for this post.

w. said...

beautifully said, my friend. blessings.

Abigail said...

I enjoyed writing this, soaking in good memories that have grown into equal good in the present.

You college chums are woven in those memories, too.