Aging, awareness, Beginner's Mind, Buddhism, Change, Compassion, Consciousness, Crones and Warlocks, Death, Death & Dying, Dharma, Dogs, Heart Centered, Life, Love, Loving Kindness, Marriage, Metta, Mindfulness, Old men, Partnerships, relationships, Spiritual Eldering, spirituality, Undefended Heart, Vipassana, Wisdom
The wind is howling as a cold front moves in taking our unseasonable balmy weather with it for a few days, our first winter storm necessitating all day fires in the stove. It was cold and threatening the other night as I waited for my partner to make it home. The sun went down, the sky turned black and Tomo and I found ourselves a bit anxious to see familiar headlights coming up the drive. I tried to avoid the anxiety that was quietly stirring by being extra deliberate in preparing the ingredients of dinner to distract myself with cooking chores and timing issues. But Lil Bob was not satisfied and so he dragged me up the stairs to stand at the window and keep watch just like anxious lovers have done since the creation of windows. We stood there, he and I until we saw her and when we did Lil Bob brightened and I went back to cooking dinner.
As I am aging I worry more openly about the safety of my partner. I have always worried but when we were younger, I hid it. Now I don’t – now I can’t. The worry sits on the back of fear and this fear is existential and universal. Our natural fears of death, aging, sickness, loss, and loss, and loss…of everyone and everything we love. Karen is high on my list of beings I love. These are good times in our lives together. We are both healthy and, it seems, more appreciative of each other, more kind to each other, more loving of self and other than at any other time in our span of 32 years. We consider ourselves late bloomers and try to pretend that every flower will blossom and our good days will last forever….and we are keenly aware that they will not.
After we had settled in and my anxiety had been acknowledged and slowed down, she asked me about my fears and when she did a choice point opened up between us. There was an initial lurch to hide behind social and relational conventions of speech and thought, of the small self – instead of the insight and skillful means of Lil Bob who, pulled me back from over committing to that awkward lurch and brought me back to the undefended heart. “I am afraid of not being with you anymore – I cannot imagine life without you. I am frightened.” I blurted out.
And from that blurting there came a blossoming that filled our home and our hearts. It is almost always true that when one person in a relationship moves to the heart and speaks in Heart’s simple straightforward language the other is likewise opened and moved. And so there was. And so there has been and so we both acknowledge how precious the moments of connection are. There is no time to lose – there is only time to love Now.