It seems to happen as the leaves start to change color and the wind rustles against the grass on cool September mornings that I wake up and wish once again to write someone a love letter.
Time slows just a fraction as I brew warm cups of coffee in the morning. Even after all this time, I find myself filling that red French press with too many spoonfuls. For days, coffee sits on my wooden kitchen table, turning more bitter every hour it stays. And when I finally go to clean it, I pause for a moment and dream that someone had been there to share it with me.
A small little love letter, isn’t it?
A cup of coffee brewed early in the morning when the sun is peaking between the trees. Creaky kitchen floorboards. Bare feet. Your light snores, whoever you are, lingering in the air. Steam-filled, mismatching mugs, each one from a far away place I’ve picked up along our trips.
What a treat it is to tiptoe back to bed with enough coffee for two, knowing how you and I both take it. Still, the coffee turns cold on the bedside tables as there are so many better things to do on a slow morning at home. But alas, cold coffee is much better when there’s someone to wash and someone to dry.
Sometimes, the desire for love letters comes when the wind creeps through the windows that are finally open for sleeping, as autumn has returned. The coyotes sing late at night—a melody I’ve heard a thousand times over, and still as I lay curled in the middle of the bed unable to sleep, I wish to lean across the pillows and whisper, “Do you too hear them sing?”
Another love letter, perhaps even a song.
We lie by side in my creaky old bed, pinky fingers interlocked, listening to the songs of other beings, the free ones who chase the moon at night. Whoever you are, would you sing along, maybe even howl with me? I’ve spent so many nights howling alone.
Other times, it’s in the woods. On quiet morning walks as the dog runs before me. I’ve trodden in my sandals, and the funny tan lines are fading fast. My feet start to remember what it’s like to not be bare. It hits me as I glance at my watch and realize two hours have passed and not a word spoken, not even to call the dog who looks back to make sure I am not far behind.
Wouldn’t it be such a beautiful letter, to walk slowly beside you instead, whoever you end up being?
To fill the stillness of the woods with your voice and mine? Perhaps we’d discuss our mothers, what they made us for breakfast as kids. Or maybe you’d tell me about your first kiss, and I’d tell you about mine and the way my teeth clunked against his, full of metal.
Maybe it would be between the trees that I find out your middle name or even your favorite color? Perhaps yours and mine would be the same?
It’s in the candlelight of my tiny kitchen where I find myself in need of a little love letter the most, as I lean against my counter, slowly sipping wine out of a juice jar. There’s music playing, and the sun sets sooner now. Thick pink and orange strokes are painted across the sky as the night comes before seven now.
How odd it is that loneliness seems to linger a little louder once the sun starts drifting off to sleep earlier.
I’d write a letter about you and I on those nights.
We’d drink red wine. Or maybe white? Time will tell. Perhaps, we’d listen to some band you used to love when you were young and free. You’d look over at me and tell me a story, a reckless one about a time long ago and you’d tip your head back and laugh, proud of where you’ve been and all those nights that made you feel alive.
I can imagine you back then, long before I knew you or before there were faint wrinkles in the corners of your eyes. I’d wish for a moment to have known you then. But as you grab my hand and spin me into your arms, I smile and press my thumb to your bottom lip, for you are beautiful now, and I will want to remember this moment, instead of wishing for things I could never possibly have.
Perhaps one day, I’ll write you 100 or maybe even 1,000 love letters. Maybe just one will be enough. Maybe you’ll find them on sticky notes stuck to your steering wheel on early mornings before the sun comes up or at the bottom of the grocery list as you wander along the fruit aisle at the local store down the street.
Long letters they may be; other times they may be small, maybe even just a word or two. A note here or there, tucked into your favorite work jacket or left somewhere to be found weeks or even months later. A poem may do too.
It sounds quite lovely, doesn’t it? These little letters of a love that hasn’t been told.
Perhaps, one day, I’ll write them for you, wherever you may be. But for now, I’ll write them down here and save them for another time. So, one day, I hope that when the winds start to change, you will be here.
I’ll smile at the curve of your name in my handwriting, and if I’m lucky enough, you’ll be writing me my own little letters too—letters that I find scattered around as the leaves and I start to fall.