“I want to hold your herb-scented hand.”
“Yes please” I text back.
Lost in the fragrance of memory is where I found myself before I wrote to you.
Back in the errand we had been on after getting my daughter’s new bed frame up the stairs and into the house. Even that was fun. I can do it alone but it takes forever. Accepting your help meant I didn’t have to screw, unscrew and carry part after part up the stairs. I didn’t need to move the furniture by myself. This time you did the heavy lifting.
I cut lemons to put in our water. And so, when you needed a few more hanging plants for your porch it was me who got to help.
You stood under a canopy of hanging flowers asking for my thoughts on color.
Sleep and parenting and yards and beauty. These aren’t always the most written about in the poems of life. It’s the poetry I most attend to, though. Tiny, whole and vital acts. These dot together and outline my existence.
Only once it was decided—yellow flowers with long hanging green foliage hair cascading the air—did we wander over to the herb tables.
One by one we stuck our hands and noses and faces down to dive into odor, dreams, plans and possibilities.
Lavender by your door to smell before or after work on the way to the car.
Basil, easy to grab, on the porch to use cooking.
Mint might overtake everything but it would be so good in bread and tea.
Perfumed fresh we shared from the same cup of air.
We couldn’t keep our fingers from stroking, touching and resting.
We worshipped-the-worshipping of what was in the containers.
We were unselfconsciously being.
And we didn’t buy or share a plant to tend.
We weren’t broke. We had the money.
Our beds—like us—weren’t yet ready for the commitment of planting or dual ownership.
Only a few months back, flood waters came up. Snow buried us cold, afraid and stale. The roots of us seemed to grow in different directions, too fragile to save or transplant and too precious to abandon.
This week, long after I have showered I find myself breathing in the essence of you.
You are who I want to tell the good news, bad news, great quotes, funny one liners and what my dog does at the beach. You who my dog who wags her tail harder for than anyone.
We call ourselves best friends who hold hands. It’s all we agree on.
We’re not a couple and not not a couple either.
The limbo will have to give a friend warned. Once a week restaurant going, kayak exploring and chores and meals in tandem activities won’t last forever.
One of us will want more or less or to date others. It will get complicated I warned.
I might be right.
I’m not in denial. I just don’t know.
I know trying to control my time or plans won’t do a thing to my heart. It stands full, like the temporary garden on the Quincy Artery with offerings.
I don’t want to talk about what we are or are not to one another.
Why till an earth or expose the roots until we’re prepared to identify, nurture and transplant?
I don’t need to know the future.
I want to hold your herb-scented hand.
Author: Christine “Ciccy” White
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock