Dedicated to Patricia
Submitted by Peter
Either the sound of wind rustling through palm fronds or the gentle breeze itself brushing my face woke me this morning. Whichever the cause, it was a most pleasant way to be brought back to consciousness. As I lay there savoring the physical sensations starting to play with my senses, I mentally reviewed the wonderous events of the past few days.
We had left the Midwest six days ago on one of those late Fall mornings when all the lawns and fields appeared to be dusted with a light coat of powered sugar. My wife and I were heading back to Hawaii in a mutual effort to rekindle the glow in our marriage. I say “back” to Hawaii because that is where we had honeymooned in one of those out of the way places with very few modern distractions. We were willing captives in a paradise that compelled us to spend time exploring each other, spirit, soul and body. That experience crystalized in both our minds that the decision to get married was so right.
As our flight sliced through the skies, it weighed on both of us how timely this escape to the past was. Neither of us had much to say, and couldn’t find more to discuss than polite inquires about each other’s comfort. That flight made it obvious we had lost the mental connection we once possessed, which is so much deeper and lasting than any physical attraction. The mundane matters of everyday life had doused the spark we used to create in each other. While neither of us expected to recapture our youth, we both hoped to revive our ability we once had to touch with our minds.
The slight aching feeling one gets on any long flight melted immediately as the visual effect of our approach into Honolulu took over. The sight of vivid greens and blues mixing together as a framework for beautiful highrise hotels was so stunning that I wanted to ask the pilot to circle a few times before landing. Our reception, escort and check-in processing went as smoothly as if we were royalty. Thinking back now, it was almost a blur of bright smiles, fragrant flowers and unbelievable colors. When our heads stopped spinning, we found ourselves alone in our room, and grinning at each other like two kids at an amusement park.
It wasn’t just one thing that fanned our first love back into a flame. Rather it was a combination of experiences, like feeding each other with exotic foods, snorkeling together in a popular bay, and just browsing through shops drawing each other’s attention to all the fascinating items from around the world. But the moment that stood out the most, while I lay on the bed waking up, was our time at the falls. We had taken a picnic to eat by a pond fed by a gentle waterfall. Neither of us had had an appetite, so we decided to get wet. We held hands as we gingerly picked our way over some rocks to get in behind the falls. Once there, I slipped my arm around her waist, told her I loved her, and we kissed. We then made a pact that was not so much a wish as it was a prayer. We vowed to jump through the falls together, and when we came out the other side, we’d be reborn into lovers who would never let circumstances overwhelm their love. We leaped through the cascade into the cool pond, and as the water closed over our heads, I remember thinking I’d never been so alive, so alert to all my thoughts. As my wife surfaced, I looked into her sparkling eyes and could tell we were thinking the same thing. No masks, no makeup, no false fronts existed between us, but we knew the meaning of true love was that the other person’s happiness is more important to you than your own.
Now, as I lay on the bed, I hear my wife emerging from the shower. I can’t help smiling about how I’ve planned to ensure her happiness today.