Today marks the day when, five years ago, Ant and I became a “thing,” as us youngsters with a lack of vocab call it.
Five years is quite some time. And yet, time is such a funny thing. I have more of a crush on Ant now than I did way back when.
Through the wicked winds that blew us around this morning, through the deep sand that made our early uphill so challenging, through the path that never seemed to go the way I thought it should, I have been mediating on love. What is this thing, called love?
People have been asking that question for eons. They’ve been creating songs, novels, paintings, sculptures, temples, and whole religions in an attempt to answer the same question.
But it is personal, after all, isn’t it? So I feel I might weigh in on what I’ve learned in the past five years.
Ant and I met in AmeriCorps, locking eyes right away. Love was first that thrill — the tingling with anticipated touch, the fear and delight of the “they like me, they don’t like me” game, the electricity of the huge possibility every new day held.
From there love became getting to know you — long hours in conversation, the fascination of diving deep into someone else’s life, the introduction to an entirely new world and way of thinking.
And then, day by day, it became the day by day. The laundry, the chores, the counting on the other person, the vastness of the mundane, the place where we live so often. Love became small bickering, the little moments of sweetness during dishes, the thoughtlessness of the everyday, the love of the now and the forever.
The climb came upon us immediately after a long break sitting in camp chairs, filtering water, eating chocolate, and drinking instant coffee plus chocolate protein powder plus dehydrated sugary creamer (in other words: heaven).
4.5 miles and 1600 feet of elevation with 10 pounds of water in the mix. Woof!
I was powered up the first half by a fascinating conversation about gender with Rainbow Dash, and then by Beyoncé and the Spice Girls for the second.
Today love is the fabric of my life, the backdrop against which everything comes into view. Love changes me, it fills me up with kindness, it makes me realize the person I could be, the person I am. It divides and divides until it colors every moment, transforms the way I interact with the world.
By simply walking forward in life together, I have learned so much from this love. I have learned to compromise, empathize, sympathize, to be sweet, thoughtful, interested in new subjects. This love is a mirror, where I am shown who Ant knows I can be, who I am often, and what I look like at my worst.
It is magical. It makes everything possible.
And as I turn toward Canada again and again, I know it is only because of love.