September 1st, 2021.

Every morning I reach out to touch you. To take you in my half-asleep embrace, and feel your warm body curl against mine, as we both stay in the limbo of our night, not quite there, yet awake, and acutely aware of each other.

This embrace is one of the moments where I feel the closest to you. Such instants can be overlooked when they are every morning’s routine, but today, I felt the urge of one so acutely that I spent my whole day thinking of you, barely working. 

Twelve days. That’s what separates me from you. Twelves, long days. About the same amount of time I have passed away from you. If this trip was a hike, it would be the moment where going back or going forward wouldn’t make a difference. I can only hope that I will feel a little lighter as that distance shrinks, and that I know you aren’t as far as you were the moment before – and hope that you do, too.

I am in a train, on my way to see the crew from last year’s adventure across the Atlantic. It brings back to me so vividly how much the thought of you helped me during the hard days of our crossing, when we were battling that storm on the coast of Portugal. At La Coruna, I would let the others go, sit at a coffee shop, and write to you. When I was not writing to you, I would think of you. This might sound silly, but if you were what held me together then, you are what drives me forward, now.

In these moments, everything else that matters to me seem to fade away in the background a little to leave only you and the desire I have of holding you again. 

So let me hold you. 

Here I am.

It is eight o’clock, we are still rolling in bed. You reach out and put your legs across mine, like you do so often. You turn towards the wall, and I gently reach to kiss your neck, before falling back to the right, and looking out through the window, wondering what everybody down there, below our ivory tower, is doing. Then we stretch. You first, me next, making weird noises, but ending up in an embrace regardless. Because, as some say:

“A hug makes you feel good all day.”

Kathleen Keating

You are still in bed, looking at your phone. I am making coffee in the kitchen, with the radio on. We listen to it quietly. A moment later, I bring a cup of warm, sugary, caffeinated oat milk. You take a sip from it, delighted, and smile at me. We move to the couch, where I meet you with an espresso.

We look at the wonders around us. All the plants, strong and growing. The views. Rainier, Baker, Glacier Peak, and all the cascades. 

This is how we started many of our days.

Let’s do this again.

And again…

Again.