A Love Story

I'm inspired to write about my husband today. It's a grey and drizzly day that has me with reminiscing over coffee. The kids are playing in the living room and Daddy is at work. Spring days that are chilly always remind me of Washington State. Why?
Mark and I have been together since the very end of 1997. We've been inseparable since then. We have never been a couple to fight, let alone break up and make up. We're solid. I owe this mainly to him. His patient and full-of-light type of love has allowed me, as a woman, as a human being, to explore and expand on my definition of love. To practice it, to mess up, and to practice some more. He has always created and held the safest harbor for me to grow, flourish and be myself in. 

This brings me to 2003. We had already moved to Asheville, Mark agreeing because I'd love the Applachians since I visited while on an Outward Bound course at 15. At first things were beyond perfect, living simply and out in the woods in our free time. My joy was considerably damped the longer I managed the Country Club of Asheville. They had just disposed of every manager but little ole me, and I proceeded to work more and more hours until 6 days a week and 73 hours was routine. 

Soon the effects on me were wearing on our relationship. This coincided with Mark finding and buying a 77 VW orange and white VW Westfalia. Time passed, restorations happened, and the plan to quit our jobs and go out west, to explore and backpack beautiful lands, was hatched. For months to follow all debt was paid off, savings manifested for when we came home to Asheville, funds were stockpiled for this grand adventure. We planned to be gone for three months but knew we could extend it. 

I was so caught up in work, planning, packing, even a death in the family that the true gravity of the decision didn't hit me until after we were on the road. Our second night camping under the starts, in the pop-up full-sized bed of our bus, it overwhelmed me and I confessed to Mark. I was terrified to be on this journey. I felt unmoored, too free I suppose. I had never stopped working like this in my life, never just taken time to have fun. I hadn't ever been to college, where normally a young adult is afforded that time of reflection and pursuit of self-interest. And here we were, just doing what we wanted, ultimately PRESENT.

Mark was understanding and kind and as we made our way to Washington my spirit, mind, and heart eased and opened. Though this trip was immensely fun for him, he gifted me a different perspective on life I wouldn't know I needed until much later in life. I had the opportunity to once again see him, and also us, in a unique light. We made it to Olympic National Park on the coast and camping there, in the grey that is the Pacific Northwest, my heart filled with enough reserves of the kind of peace I now draw on in my present time, again and again. It's funny how you don't realize a skill or ability you needed in life until you experience it the first time and it swells up inside of you. Forever after you are able to remember back to why those feelings were healing, or needed, and then find ways back to that place. Through meditation, yoga, a deep conversation with friends, prayer, physical labor, volunteering, there are so many ways we are fortunate enough to build on those good moments of our past in the present. 

Now, so far away from that trip, careers pursued once again, marriage, land bought, house built, two pregnancies, two very different deliveries. Sleepless nights, sick children, and all the changes I've undergone transitioning to and through Motherhood... there is Mark. There is the idea of a man supporting a woman, financially, providing security, and behind every good man is a great woman, filled with kindness and patience. I look at us and see how oddly things have always been reversed for us, opposite of traditional roles. As time has passed, and we've both adapted to being parents, we've not only remained ourselves but had to learn our partner's side of things so much more. 

Where would I be without this man who builds me gardens, who helps so much around the house, who spends so much quality time with his children? Forever trying to kiss me and hold me. Rarely overwhelmed when my internal storms rage. Full of humor and light. Kind to everyone. This man who makes me take time for myself, explore things that make me happy as Kate, not just as mother or wife, he who holds the space for me to relax and breath in. 

That was what was at the heart of our trip out west. Him teaching me that sometimes doing nothing and just enjoying the present moment is not only possible, but that the world won't come to a screeching halt. This so important for me to remember and actually act on periodically in my life with young children. I don't always need to be achieving something. I know as a collective we remind each other as mothers of this, but it's especially important given my personality type as someone who pushes to have all my ducks in a row... always. Today reminds me of that trip. Today reminds me of him. Today I think of how much two people can, and have to, grow and change throughout the course of their relationship. 

And so today, I'm still in my pjs. Sidekick convinced me we are going on an adventure and mandated I haul out my Arc'tryx backpack which hasn't seen a trip since 2007. We three pretend to go camping in BuddyRoo's bedroom. Also, none of the couches have cushions on them because we built a castle. Our kitchen table is still littered with breakfast dishes as I type. Today I'm just in the present. 



Blogger news