He came home last night, the lovely (lovelylovelylovely) husband (oh, my soul). It's a commencement, each return; remember that trite double entendre explained at every commencement ceremony through which you ever sat your commencing soul? You've graduated; you begin something new. We graduated through our season, and I'm sure he's soul-tired, weeks of sleeplessness climaxing in an event that ends according to a printed program, and a million details to attend and messages to return and contacts to contact and the work of the work doesn't really end, does it, it just leads into more work, but he's here, now, in the kitchen, and none of that dissipated but the kids, the girls and this boy, they don't know any of that, they just buzz to see him back home.
And suddenly I'm tired, so tired I need to lean, and I lean sideways against the counter, watching them, my loves. He's so tall, my lovely husband in the center of the kitchen, a maypole of heart-smiles and buried weariness and work so unending it might as well wait until after bedtime, or tomorrow, or tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, creeping at a relentless pace, just like their words and stories and gesticulations. They circle him, not even realizing, I think, filling him with pent-up stories bursting for his pleasure at his feet and in his hands. They orbit like bees, like planets, like dancers bearing ribbons and his smile the eye-hook holding them each to him.
And I'm indescribably tired, and I look for signs in his face, as he should be indescribably tired, but he radiates in their bustle, the steady central beam of our home and our lives and we each orient to him, like saluting the sun after a week of stormclouds. We know his absence in each minute as it happens, but we never let ourselves recognize the full measure of our loss until the healing breezes push the clouds away and our skin revives out of the cold.
He came home. We closed out our season. The small loves danced out their joy and I watched. I am always so glad to reach that dance.
Yes, I know it starts about a spider, but I've always loved the great WW and that poem.