The highlight of the past year has been you, Mackenzi, and I want to put into written word the reasons why. I will fall short and I will look back on this letter with regret for phrases I could have added or words that I would excise. Regardless, I will bring a dictionary to the world of feelings and love.
Thursday’s full moon marks the 9mo mark since our first romantic encounter (or nine and a half moons, as you know I prefer to measure time this way). The first few months were a careful poking and prodding of each other, when we were as equally unsure of our own footing as the other’s. Afraid to talk about the future because it might deflate our baking and carefully inflating souffle.
Your presence lights up a room. Your laugh forces a smile on my face, no matter my mood. You make any hardship easier to bear, even when you sass me and I deserve it. I don’t think you know how much strength you give me and how much courage you instill. I am humbled by your dedication to our future. I don’t feel I deserve it, though I will try to prove myself otherwise.
I have great difficulty removing myself from the equation, especially when talking about you. I know you sometimes feel like a sidekick, not a partner. Much of that stems from my loneliness in the middle of things. I feel, acutely, the attention of others and have never enjoyed someone with which to share the spotlight and to later escape into the wild, away from it all.
I’ve never known, much less felt, a deeply complementary relationship with another human before you. I have the wacky ideas; you help me find a middle ground for compromise. You look for the shades of gray; I find the binary aspects. I bring the anarchy; you round off my edges. You bring the kitchen to life; I can appease the computer goblins.
Sometimes, I wonder what those around us think. Do they see two opposites attracting? Do they think I’m the lucky one, or that you are? Or are we two dirty hippies that will be wed under the summer solstice moon by a pagan druid? Whatever they think, it doesn’t affect our future and how we relate to each other.
You have proven yourself, time and time again, as the fiercest and most capable partner. Not only my #1 pick for a zombie apocalypse team, but also my favored world repopulation partner, as I know we’ll make some stunning halfie babies and teach them essential complementary skills. You appreciate that I can eyeball a cord of wood; I admire that you will teach me how to wield a chainsaw.
I look forward to our future. I know it will challenge us in ways we cannot imagine. I know it will attempt to divide us, with all its cunning and might. And I know it will fail: our passions may rise and subside, but our devotion to each other and to our shared vision grows stronger and closer with each passing moon.
I imagine two proud, strong oaks that have endured much in a field on their own. They create shade for passing travelers, weather pummeling winds, and persevere through crippling drought. And, by some karmic luck, I see these broad-limbed giants moving closer, drawn by a gravity that supersedes reason and logic. As they approach one another over the seasons, they accept the coverage of the other and bear weight in return. Sometimes creaking and groaning under the new strain, sometimes sighing in deep and profound relief.
Their paired strength and glory doesn’t reside in a complete fusion of their trunks, to mirror one another in redundant partnership: the space between them, the loving area that they cover and protect, marks the true important. We have an opportunity to tend a small garden between us that will grow into something lovely and ours. Perhaps a roost for some chickens, or a smattering of herbs and flowers wildly arranged, or maybe some happy apes will pull a slack line to join us together.
The more we settle into our rhythm, the dance between the two of us, the easier life becomes. The obstacles of the everyday resolve into simple hurdles with a clear end in sight: our next embrace. We’ve already experienced much weirdness, between our cross-country journeys, Sharon the Turk, the festival trips, and pooping in close proximity.
With you, I look forward to the future.
I love you, Mackenzi.
Long Form Sundays
- On getting my groove back (or returning to my practices)
- On pushing the boundaries and crossing the line (or a slice of humble pie as second year begins)
- On catching up again and again (or the calm before the MS2 storm)