We've been sitting in our tiny rented home here in Southern California for the past weeks' rain. It's cold and way wet and so soggy I can't walk on the grass without water running into the tops of my boots. But, like living in Baja, it does give me time to think. Time to settle in, do some home work daily and think about what life will be like when I slow down, am no longer a member of the workplace. The slower I go the more I think I will enjoy it.
The other day, with rain pounding down, I was reflecting over relationships. At least relationships where love is involved. I was sharing a conversation with others and I had to think quickly about the subject before I spewed my thoughts out. I often don't do well with thinking quickly, as I like to chew on my thoughts before I voice them. Maybe that's why I'm not big on IM'ing. Besides, I can't type. Except by the hunt and pack method.
So, in my mind, I put relationships into two categories: infatuation and maintenance. I know, there are many more, but those are the two top ones.
They meet, fall in love and lust, get married, do a number of years honeymooning all over the earth, live in Baja for a summer, have children and spend 20 years in various forms of love, attend T-ball and soccer games, do the laundry, outline life for their children with principled ribbons, and grow into what he, at least, thinks of as an immature maturity. They have a love that confuses their sense of hearing to the point that it stops working, the pulse-pounding, throbbing tell-him-this-meaningful-thing, ask-her-to-marry-me-question, when-will-we-start-our-family-issue, are all hitting them in the face and dancing.
Somehow now the major early decisions of life and family are all behind them and they are faced with the future, unknown. The kids are gone and leave the parents wondering. They are still in love. The definition of love may have changed somewhere along the way. Its not like family is gone, but the children are raised. Work and earned income are things soon to be of the past. Love is as much part of the picture as it was during infatuation, but its form has changed. If only a little. How could it not? After living together 40 years?
But it all comes together. As we age we'll continue to find varying ways in which we need each other. Those ways will always be changing. In Baja, we'll be away, at least part of the time, from our family and will redefine my two categories of infatuation and maintenance. With our lives shifting, rejuvenating themselves into a new structure of just-the-two-of-us, I guess we might be entering a whole new cycle. Maybe, on a stretch of sand on the east coast of Baja, we might just experience the high drama we had when we first met. It won't be quite the same. We know each other well now, our good traits and bad. We've learned to live with them. But I know there is more to experience.
It's out there, just waiting for us with a smile and a hug.