Why do we love the sea? It is because it has some potent power to make us think things we like to think. ~Robert Henri
Somewhere in the night, deep into the heart of the midwest, I look at the passengers in my vehicle. My newly-minted wife and longtime best friend Sheila is asleep with our dog Mystic in her lap and Fremont, our other dog, is sprawled out on the back seat. We drive through the darkness together back to Colorado to resume the life we’ve known for years that will be, in some way, new.
I can’t pretend to be a champion of being married—but it’s quite nice all the same. Truly, Sheila and I would have been very happy to be together regardless, but it adds sweetness to our companionship. As two independently minded people, we know we are good solo, but even better together. I don’t believe that being married elevates our relationship into a superior place, yet it’s a peaceful status upgrade that declares a bit more boldly our love for one another. Besides easing the cultural burden of explaining our relationship, it does add in legal privileges that may seem stunningly unromantic at first, but taken at a deeper level are quite significant. In life or death situations, we entrust one another to decide what is best, even if one of us is unable to communicate so. We are in it together, good or bad, and I like that—we are a good team, this woman and me.
We drove from Colorado to Maryland, got married, then continued up to Maine and then back to the Rocky Mountains, all in the last-hurrah of a potently hot Indian Summer. There was much laughter, a lightness to being on the road, the peace of familiar places, and good people all along the way. Those days were bittersweet because they confirmed just how hard we’ve worked in the past few years and how wonderful being freed of those everyday burdens can feel. We love our life in Colorado and I in particular have enjoyed my writing career the past few years, but there have been so many moving parts that involve a lot of focus and attention. It was nice to have those worries replaced with the tough decision of whether or not to go out and get donuts or not.
We spent a lot of time by the water, which is like coming home when you spend so much time in the mountains. We live where water starts, we visit where water ends. It was so amazing to see the dogs as they gazed out upon an ocean that went to the horizon, something they simply do not have here. We spent time with my grandmother and aunt in a cottage where some of my best memories are archived from a time long past. And when it was time to go home, we drove through the night, watching the sunrise, seeing cities where we have no investment wake to life, and then driving the whole day to long stretches of open road where the trucks drift in the night like a herd of migrating, metallic beasts.
Here, the trees are changing and the mountain foliage has already shed its green summer skin for faded tans and withered flowers, preparing for the months of snow that will transform the land. Change is in the air. So often, change is thrust upon us in ways that damage us, or that take away parts of our life that we deem essential. It is nice that change’s fickle demeanor has given us a moment of kindness, because that happens, too… change works in our favor, though not always in the ratio we’d like. But as we pull into our Colorado home just before sunrise, my new wife and our dogs will do our best to let our ocean-enriched energy burn a little slower if we can help it.