But, about eleven years ago, a wall is, arguably, the only thing I had to offer. I had bleached-white hair and wore leather and a bright lip-sticked smirk-- a tactical foil: colourful distractions, with which to hide an ingrained distaste for one's own character. A practice, might I add, indicative of too much time spent thinking of one's self in the first place. Also, indicative of being in no position to care about anyone, even if he did have nice blue eyes.
Why, then, did a profoundly sober awareness of 'the Christian neighbour' settle in right about then? The unseen was doing it's thing. Giving me insider information that was in no way rational. This neighbour and I had a path to walk. Together. And I knew.
About eleven years ago, a blue-eyed guy started to look out his window, hoping to catch the streak of blond. And I continued to be inexplicably tugged in his direction. We made such a mess of our overtures. His tongue was good and tied, and I was good and confused about-- well, about everything. But there were always the things that kept us within arms-reach, like snow-walks, warm pubs, skate-dancing, that invisible tugging-thread, and God. Especially God.
We used to spend hours studying Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. We would read together and then pick away at every detail, uncovering gems and unwinding snarls in our understanding. The things I learned about him, head-bent over Holy pages, are the things I still love most: His granite-like commitment to what is Good. His unyielding resolve to walk into the unknown without fear.
About eleven years ago, each and every member of my family fell in love with the boy next door, and eagerly waited for me to catch up. Thing is, love wasn't the problem. I had found it there at the beginning. It hadn't been manufactured along the way. It always was. Placed there. In me, to give to him. In hindsight, I can see that eleven years ago my heart was officially introduced to God's love and how it works. He breaks in and loves through. He took a mere scrap of the love He had for his son, Aidan, and He placed it in me and asked me to do something with it.
The doing bit, however, is where I got snagged. I got snagged on my own self. All the lost and confused bits were still alive and well. And a debate was taking place inside. I had words to say to the Spirit in residence, who was busy loving deep and uninterrupted. I said things like 'wait,' and 'hold-up,' and a whole lot of 'me, me, me.' He just kept on loving through me and for me and despite me, suggesting that the hellish holding-pattern I was maintaining would end if only I would look beyond the wall of self-love & loathing to the blue eyes on the other side.
Ten years ago I said 'yes', and 'I'm over myself.' And, 'skate with me forever'. And other equally romantic things. And I said them in a white dress, with pearls in my hair. Said them looking into very blue eyes. Said them as more and more of the lost bits began to click into place. It's that thing called resonance. When run-aways come home to an open door and rebels stop fighting what they already know. Click. My spirit found resonance with The Spirit. That's when all the good stuff started. Ten years of it, so far. And I've been thinking about the next ten, and the ten after that, and how hair turns white, and skin wrinkles, but blue eyes always stay blue.
Apparently, a gift of tin is customary on a 10th wedding anniversary. Thankfully, my daughter and I have been baking the periodic table: Tin (Sn, not Ti)