I’ve come across love letters, old ones, written me many many years ago. Those times when you’d have to wait days and even weeks for a letter to arrive.
I’d be poised, held in and up by moments that stretched over long, unyielding days, taut and bruised, hopeful and nervous, excited for those first words, the slant of your writing, a fine pitch across the envelope with my name and address on it. How even then, I’d hold back, even as my fingers opened the envelope, my eyes searching your words, that line you wrote, “I love you a million times”, your name written with a curve and flourish, as gracious and sensuous as you, your body, mine, ours, the way you’d tilt your head as you spoke, eyes looking at mine, the sudden turn away, pain you never explained.
Even now, well beyond reason, your words trail through me, at once light and buoyant, a winding path that wanders back on itself, twists somewhere else, comes to an edge, slips into that stream where melancholy pools, and only the bough of that single tree remains, its reflection quivering in the shifting breeze over the water, our paths never again the same except now, in these brief moments when I remember us on the Pilgrim’s Way, making love out of the rain.