Our hero and her poet had already mastered the art of “not having a plan” other than “what time are you planning to be here?”
Two cups of flour with herbs, sugar, olive oil and yeast were in a bowl. It had been slowly kneeded into a ball.
The olive oil was drizzled carefully across the dough and set aside.
It struck the poet while our hero glided through her kitchen just how beautifully simple and simply beautiful she was that morning.
A random stream of words floated through his head while she pulled an assortment of vegetables out of her refrigerator.
“Here is a feeling that I’ve only dreamed of,
You gliding barefoot on pool deck pavement.
Something soothing and everlasting.
You slide near and my heart beats faster.”
She broke his thoughts with a motherly warning “That’s a very sharp knife so be careful, please.”
And the next set of ingredients were prepped and stirred and placed in the oven.
The grill was searing and our hero was sipping her wine while the poet watched her drift around her kitchen and into her living room.
He wondered as they sat down to eat if our hero realized he was here, today, feeding her food in a vain attempt to fill her stomach and wet her appetite in return for how she filled his heart and soul.
Maybe she knew.
And if she did not, he did not care. He planned to keep trying to tell her until he finally strung the words together in the right way. He planned to show her until he worked his fingers down the bones.
Why? Because he had waited too long for someone of her worth.
There was a time, long before they found the pad locks on the bridge, that things were getting difficult for our hero and her poet.
They had both reached their separate ends but life is so incredibly difficult when there are houses and feral cats and assets and anger… So much anger. The anger stemmed from fear and fear stemmed from the anger and the circle continued to turn and turn, spiraling and swirling around both of them.
Our hero had left her home.
Our hero also found herself unemployed as she had also left her job.
She had her children and she had her family but what seemed so simple, simply leaving, was so messy and complicated.
Her heart remained hungry. Her soul was simply fed up. It was difficult, for the first time in her life, to keep her head held high and spirit feeling positive.
“All of these things are against me,” our hero said.
She remembered the long walk from the stadium at night. She remembered how it felt. It was difficult to contemplate at the time but there was one thing she did:
She simply put one foot in front of the other. Slowly at first, finding firm ground upon which to tread, and then, as she navigated her new state of life, she found her pace quicken and her burdens dropping like rusted shackles from her body.
Like the sun, the moon and the stars… Our hero simply rose above the world, keeping her vision clear and plotting her path inch by inch and yard by yard and mile by mile.
When her poet found her, he would see this in her and it would be just one of the many reasons why he would adore her more than anyone else in the world. Yes, the burdens and complications and her ability to focus in the churning chaos made her beloved to him.
Her poet was struggling too.
Years had been wasted trying to repair and fill that broken vase. So many moments, good and bad, should have been shared with someone but instead he had been alone and mostly running alone, never actually going forward nor backwards. He was stuck, legs churning and exhausted.
“This is hard,” he said. “Why am I doing this? Why are these things happening? What am I supposed to learn from all of this?”
It would have been easier if he knew our hero then. It would have been nice if he had her near, pulling him with her as she rose above the earth.
But it was not time for her to slide into his life yet. The long walks and the deep talks and the silly flirtations would come later. It was not yet time for her record needle to drop into the vinyl’s groove so that the music could finally be heard.
So he learned from his mother and father about death and how it is to truly love someone until the last breath leaves their lips.
He learned that he did not “need” anyone but that the right person would be “wanted” with a rare and beautiful desire.
He learned from his father that there are second acts in love and life and they, too, can be wonderous.
Yes, the teaching was difficult, but as he learned he found himself no longer running in place but moving forward, just like our hero did a couple of years before him.
The only thing left for our hero and her poet was the perfect timing.
Thankfully, while our hero had a strong force of will, her poet had patience in spades.
These two traits would mix like water and cement to give them the firm footing needed for their journey.
It was going to be the one of the greatest adventures ever.