Today I fell in love—can it be love at first sight if you are on a blind date I wonder? Good grief, I really have to work on my sense of humour. Anyway, our first date was arranged. I was so nervous I thought I might just back out. What was the point anyway? What could possibly come of this? But, I had made a commitment to myself to try, to feel the fear and do it anyway. I’ve stolen that phrase from someone but I cannot for the life of me remember who said it. I forget a lot now, now that I remember so much; the trauma, the past, so much overwhelming sadness. (I’ll Google it later and let you know.) Also, I had made another commitment, to the women who arranged this moment for me. Just to try. “What’s the worst that could happen?” I was asked.
The morning was cool and grey. The sky was heavy and rain was immanent however rain had never stopped me before so why let it worry me now? I enjoy the rain; I fish in it, walk in it and garden in it. I have even been known to dance in the rain from time to time. Granted, it has been quite a long time since anyone might have seen that, but who knows what tomorrow will bring.
As I was saying, the air was lowering, leaving behind just a hint of mist on my cheek but not so crushing that a migraine would be promised. The scene was regal, rich velvet greens and violets saturated the palette. Surrounding trees whispered in the breeze and carried the scents of freshly cut grass and sweet clover. In the far off distance mountains stood tall and quiet as if guarding over sacred meadows of serenity. It was there that we first met. It was there that I fell in love.
We were introduced with the soothing and welcoming voice of the woman who owned these heavenly acres. Sensing my apprehension, she delayed our first hellos; assuring me the he was very special and we would really hit it off. She shared a bit of his history and I soon learned we did indeed have much in common.
He was incredible— strong, stalwart, beautiful tawny hair and big brown eyes; eyes I felt that could see into the depths of my soul. I approached him while he stood his ground. He appeared almost disinterested at first but I knew he was watching me. If this were a Jane Austin novel, he might be a Mister Darcy; elegant but reserved, handsome to be sure but not pretty. I reached out my hand to him. In return he offered a nod of recognition. We mingled politely while our chaperone (for lack of a better word) lingered. Chatting with ease, she ignited our conversation and then quietly and almost invisibly she wandered away. She really never left us. She remained discrete, busying herself with something or another, visible only in the peripheral. We stood silently together for what seemed an immutable amount of time and then, I reached up, I ran my fingers through his hair. He allowed me this intimacy and remained as close to me as two could possibly be. I found myself telling him my secrets, my hand on his chest, my face nuzzled into the crook of his neck. I saw the scars on his back; the scars that told the story of his abuse.
He like myself was the so-called black sheep of the family. Wounded both physically and spiritually he had been ostracized and left to fend for himself, sanctuary only granted him after arriving there, at the place we first met. I kissed the scars on his back and wrapped my arms around his neck telling him with tearful whispers that I was sorry for his pain. I knew what it felt like to be alone and while I too was beaten, my scars were not visible; my scars were not worn on my flesh obvious to all who could see.
He showed me his understanding. Our hostess verified that fact to me later. This clarification was somewhat necessary. Despite the fact that our hearts spoke deeply and honestly to each other, we did not share the same language thus an interpreter was required.
We stood together for hours. He held his ground and never left my side. An anomaly she said, he did not normally pay such attention to a stranger. He did not easily share such intimacy. I stood in awe of his beauty and he seemed not to notice mine. He made no scrutiny of the fact I had not been to a hairdresser since the day my mother died. He was unconcerned by my oversized plaid shirt and faded jeans. (I do not normally dress to impress especially not now. I feel so uncomfortable in my own skin that clothes just seem to add to the frustration of my appearance.) However, Entertainment Tonight has advised the viewing population that plaid is the new grunge, a point attested to by both Madonna and Sarah Jessica Parker during fashion week in Gay Paree.
Extending his leg as if to show off his shoe, I mimicked his behavior and placed my blue paisley rubber booted foot next to his. I do love my rubber boots. My Bogs are warm enough for winter even though they are only rubbers and even after I have fallen into the river and filled my boots with icy water my feet remain warm. I wear my Bogs often, and show them off to everyone so I quite enjoyed those moments, as we stood together, foot-to-foot, shoe-to-shoe. The mood had shifted from intensely intimate to light hearted and somewhat playful. I was happy.
Our hostess had moved back into the foreground of this lover’s portrait. Her presence there was the mark that our time together was all too soon coming to an end. Politely she asked how it was. The smile on my face surely said all that needed to be said. “Are you sure you’ve never done this before?” she inquired. I shook my head to indicate I had not. “You’re a natural” She said. “What made you think you were afraid of horses?”
P.S. Feel the Fear was a book written by Susan Jeffers
With special thanks to Rio, Margot and Catharine