Drafting

It’s been one of those days where the moments seem to flow effortlessly from one to the next.

A trek to the top of the Jungfrau Mountains, a glass of wine at a little spot in the town of Murren and now my husband and I sit at an outdoor cafe having dinner in the village of Interlocken that lies in the valley.

The mountains rise before us as the shadows begin to carve the glacial rocks into something sharper, more distinct.

And then gradually the sunset softens the crags as the light pinks up and creates a dreamy feel.

Relaxed, my eyes closed, the image of the rock face remains on the back of my eyelids. I want it to seep into my mind and distribute throughout my body – a muscle memory saturating for another day.

Savoring the sensation that life can be this beautiful.

And then I crane my head back to watch colorful nylon parachutes, red and yellow and orange, floating across the sky, riding the gentle thermal drafts.

And if I squint I can make out the tiny pairs of legs attached to the harness. It’s actually two pair that are sharing the flight – that fact comforts me in a strange way. I marvel at the tiny arms clinging to the ropes and also to one another – are they afraid?

It seems a pretty metaphor for marriage.

I believe there can be a lonely quality to the idea of a relationship, the one that says it’s you and your partner alone against the world. And we may not know what the winds of change will bring, but we hold tight and hope things go smoothly.

Because there is such risk in commitment, the clutch, the fall, and all of the clunky logistics that are built into the itinerary that weigh you down, that wrestle with the flight of imagination.

And mostly we have no control, we are like a four legged creature, like an insect, like the mosquito-ish parachuters clawing across the sky, playing with gravity.

A marriage is like something other, not entirely natural, but intentional by necessity. Like lift-off with the full knowledge of free fall.

Why would anyone do that?

But maybe we are solo riders, and the pairing up part is an illusion to make us feel safe til death do us part.

But what then?

I don’t know.

But I believe we take the chance because we know there can be these kind of days, where the loft can take us both together, effortlessly, into the direction that feels true.

We take the risk even knowing that it may not end well.

We take the risk because we feel like we are all alone anyway.

We take the risk because we believe that the sky can actually hold us. That the weight of two can somehow be lighter than one.

But I think I’ll just take the sweetness of today (an unreal example really) against what reality often is. I’ll take the ease, the grace, the possibility that life can be nimble and drama-free.

And today I gaze at the parachutes as they finally gasp and flutter, one by one, on the wind and eventually drop to the ground. The adventurers’ day in the sky is done, like my own.

And I’m just grateful for the reminder that sometimes you have to surrender in order to fly.

2 thoughts on “Drafting

  1. How timely this meditation on relationships, viz-a-viz marriage. That’s because I had a FaceTime session with Katherine and Jon this afternoon. We are working on the ceremony, in fact, have finished if. June 4th will be here quicker than we think. Your very thoughtful piece today has me thinking about the upcoming wedding, and what would have been Judy’s and my 59th wedding anniversary, just 10 days after Katherine and John celebrate their wedding.

    Sent from my iPhone

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  2. When I sit with you as you write, I imagine what you are creating and excited about the moment I am having now, knowing you will take me somewhere special. This piece is one I will cherish, as I will that day that you so wonderfully captured in your words. Love. Me

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