On Spring, Love, and Healing

He found me on the eve of spring, on the periphery straddling the hours between night and morn, a time when timid lips speak words from the heart, spilled over, cascading past propriety, but awash with tender, awkward realness.

People sometimes ask if I still get butterflies when I think of him. I ponder over the question..

Love came slowly; not with the thunderclap I imagined it would, but softly, gently, with a whisper on the wind. It came upon the ivy, secretly growing along my walls to crumble them, stealing in between the cracks of my lined, worn-out heart with a warmth unknown to winter days.

He found me in the lull after tempests, long after I’d sworn never to love again–never pushing, always present, faithfully waiting–even as I warned him not to expect too much, that I, we, may not even last two months, and he said, “We’ll see.”

I recall the moments: The time he ran his fingers lightly across my scars and told me I was beautiful. The night we sat on the rocks after I poured out my broken soul and shame, and he said he still accepted me as the sea gently washed upon the shore, washed away the fear, and we knew then that we together dreamed of an endless love. The times he read stories over the phone to sing me to sleep and stayed for hours so that I wouldn’t be alone if I awoke in the night. The instances when he suddenly looks over at me with his dimpled smile and says, “I like you.” The night after we promised forever, when we prayed a blessing over our love with tears that melted away the cold, and he whispered, “See? We made it.” The moments, small and fleeting, that crept into my world and opened it to a place of refuge, to grow and grow, and he, always, always there, until nestling myself into his arms started to feel like somewhere to belong and be sheltered.

No, I reply. I never had butterflies with him. But oh, the safety and security in knowing myself so well loved..That, that I do have.

Three years ago, as winter gave way to new life, in the night, I said yes–afraid, anxious, uncertain of what might come. This year, this precious pocket of time, when the snows melt from the earth into spring, feels like a coming home at last.