Please excuse the shakiness of the clip; this was not at all the blog I intended to post.
I am not an emotional person - I don't cry easily, and good friends, even lifelong friends, and most family members can probably count on one hand the number of hugs I've initiated.
It's not that I don't love them, one and all. I'm just not a huggy person, and I don't do mushy stuff.
As I had said last week, we've been clearing out the fish pond and the smaller pools. Before we finished, several days' rain settled in, so we shelved the project for the next sunny (or rainless) day.
It rained most of the weekend, and drizzled this morning, but by mid-afternoon it was cloudy and dry. Himself said he was going out to work on one of the smaller pools for an hour or so. I declined to join him - 'By the time I get my work clothes and boots on, and gather up some implements of destruction, it will be either raining or time to start supper.'
I cleaned the kitchen (a Monday chore) and from time to time checked to see if it had started raining (it hadn't). I put cleaning stuff away and washed some bell peppers for supper when Himself came thru and said 'Would you like to come outside to see what I did, before you get involved in cooking?'
I'm not a terribly patient person (understatement) but he caught me at a good moment, before I had hot pans on the stove or anything, so I said sure, but it'll have to be quick, because I don't have long.
As we walked around the fish pond and over toward the small triangular pool, I saw that he had rigged up the garden hose to fill it with fresh water and flush out the remaining cherry pits and leaves. It was wonderful: the water was falling over the lip of the small trough above the pool, and the triangular one had filled sufficiently to pour into the rectangular connecting pool (where the stepping-stone is) and thence into the fish pond. A series of little falls, making a pretty sound...
I heard a bird call that seemed to come from behind us and turned to look. Hearing it again, I said to Himself 'Did you just whistle?' He shook his head. 'Well, I could've sworn I heard a whippoorwill! It's the strangest thing, I didn't think there were any birds here that sounded remotely like--'
He pulled his mobile phone out of his pocket; he had downloaded an audio clip of a whippoorwill, and with that, I was undone, crying and smiling at the same time, transported out of time, out of place.
I think I've told you about this before. Growing up, my bedroom window was at the front of our old log house, overlooking a creek. In summer, I fell asleep to the sound of the water flowing past and the calls of whippoorwills from the surrounding woods.
Sometimes I would sit up at the window, just enjoying the warm night air. Our old dog would sleep on my bed, and when I parked myself at the window, so did he, the two of us alone in the night.
He would scent the breeze - I suppose he could smell all kinds of things. Maybe the humid air was redolent with information, a canine telegraph.
After while, when I was sleepy, I would get back in bed and drift off, to the lullaby of whippoorwills and the trickling creek.
I had described this to Himself, ages ago. Today, he captured it perfectly, music I never thought to hear again in my lifetime. So lovely, a beautiful gift from the heart.
And whenever I wonder what I'm doing here with him, or if he 'really' loves me, I will remember this moment.