Monday, May 25, 2015

Wild Abandon and Love in the Desert

Las Vegas is good to me.  The weekend getaway is exactly what I needed and I savor every single moment.  But there is an instant, sitting there with my plate of Chinese food, during which time screeches to a halt and swings wildly in reverse--it was four years earlier, and I was in the exact same place, doing the exact same thing…

and drunk, drunk on the booze we’d started consuming earlier on that day (it was vacation--our honeymoon) and totally drunk on love, intoxicated by one another. Stealing kisses in the limo to our hotel; the elevator up to our suite; the Bellagio fountains; the swimming pool at TI; underneath vibrant glowing neon everywhere. We were newlyweds, we were so young. We had no idea what might lie ahead for us down the road. Our future, together.

And I don’t think either of us imagined how… challenging, and difficult, and uncertain it would be at times. The growing up we’ve done over the last few years, especially--the lows we endured, the highs we are rising toward, together--has affected us in ways we are only now starting to understand. But this is it, and this is the life we are building, into new horizons.

We have both changed since then. As I sit there, though, I recall how I spent seven days in the desert with my husband filled overwhelmed with wild abandon, and how four years later, I still feel that way. What an overwhelming gift, to love and be loved by him. To weather the storms of life together and come out on the other side, stronger than ever. The awareness of this fact leaves me there at that cafe table, looking out over the Strip and the slowly shifting sky (blue to pinkish orange)... my eyes filling with tears, streaking my cheeks.

Here’s the truth. I thought I loved him then. I realize how that I was only beginning to scratch the surface of how truly, deeply, and completely I feel for him, care for him, and long for him. He has taught me what it means to love someone with every fiber of your being. Though I have many reasons to be thankful for the life I have been given, he is the greatest one of all.

I think of him over and over as I pass through the night--riding the High Roller, way up above the glowing boulevard, reading a new book at the gate in McCarran, flying first class on the red eye to O’Hare, passing through the airport at 5 a.m., buying coffee for us both while I wait. I can hardly sleep on the plane for the excitement of that moment at Arrivals: the car pulling up to the curb and him in the driver’s seat, a smile as he presses his lips to mine for the first time in days. I am flooded with immediate relief.

Then he maneuvers onto the expressway, back into the city--the sun starting its crawl from the horizon, the sky in shades of blue… and my is heart racing with the familiarity and pleasure of it all, with wild abandon for the man who is driving me home.

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