My apologies, lovely readers -- I temporarily dropped off of the face of the earth. I had Weekend Plans.
Part of this weekend was finalizing Beloved Husband's accoutrements for a significant trip: did he have all the proper garments, medicaments, footwear, cash, and contingency plans? Had all Work been handled? Was he All Set? At last, all was ready, and I delivered him to the airport in the wee hours of Sunday morning. Safe travels, Beloved. May you have a lovely time, and return safely home.
The other part of the weekend was a visit from Cherished Friend. Aaah.
Knowing that he planned to arrive Friday, I spent Thursday evening attempting to remove as many dog-related allergens from the environment as possible -- mopping, vacuuming, steam cleaning the carpets downstairs, wiping down the sofas -- in order to ensure that he would be as comfortable as possible. The cleaning was helpful, because it kept my mind focused in the present instead of in the Land of Anticipation.
Anticipation is dangerous. I try not to look forward to things; for to anticipate the pleasure of an event, an activity, or a visit, is to tempt Fate. So many things can happen. So many things can go wrong, so many plans can change. I try not to think of those darker possibilities, either -- to anticipate sorrow or disappointment is to risk bringing to fruition a self-fulfilling prophecy of despair.
Knowing this, I tried not to look forward to Cherished Friend's visit. It was easier to do than usual: at the moment, he is almost a Mythic Creature -- an extraordinary unicorn, my Friend. Since he is currently without internet, there are no Skype calls for the indeterminate future, and e-mails are kept to a minimum. Without seeing his face at all (other than in the photo I keep with other important photos in my study) and with only the rarest of occasional phone calls in which to hear his familiar voice (I am terrible at talking on the phone, and do not like to impose my terrible conversational skills upon him), our communication is primarily through text, an imperfect (yet better-than-silence) medium. Sometimes it seems as though he is nearly a figment of imagination -- that elusive unicorn, which I know I have seen before, and which I want very much to see again.
Yet to want, is to risk disappointment. And so I do not hope, nor do I anticipate: instead, I wait.
And miraculously, yet unsurprisingly (for he had said he would do so), he arrived -- apparated, as it were -- Friday evening.
He was the same as always. And everything was Just Right.
He seamlessly blended himself into the workings of the household: he interacted with Beloved Husband, Offspring the Second, and Offspring the Third, just as though it had been days, rather than months and months, since they were last together; he provided help and such pleasant company in the kitchen; he spoke kindly to Tiny Dog, who -- although she dislikes almost all human beings -- nearly turned herself inside-out with happiness and attacked his feet with joy at every opportunity.
We played Scrabble. We sat on the patio in the cool of the morning. And we talked, about this and that, about permutations and possibilities, about things and nothings.
I have missed listening to him talk. It was marvelous to do so again.
Perhaps I have learned to appreciate the time all the more, knowing that it is evanescent.
Now that he is on his way back to Points North from whence he came, I am at a loss. I cannot think about the next time he will be a temporary part of my household, for I do not know when that will be. I can reflect upon the happiness of the visit, but that reflection is bittersweet, for it simultaneously must acknowledge that this particular type of happiness, like the sighting of a unicorn, will always be brief. Alas.
Oh, to have a time turner, for just a little while.
Until I see you again -- may the Universe keep you safe and well, my Cherished Friend.
Illustration found here: