There is a moment in the early evening, my favorite moment of the day. We three are home, the dinner dishes put away, and still it is not quite dark. The night stretches out before us and we are together, safe, and content. This time of year, with our long days and short nights, the moment is particularly sweet. It’s too early for bed, but there’s nothing left to be done. No phone calls to make, no chores to do, nowhere left to be — it is just us, in the home we’ve made here, and it feels exactly right.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how so much uncertainty in our lives, uncertainty amplified by cancer and now James’s diabetes diagnosis, makes me want to pull these two closer, to hold on to them for dear life. I used to tell James, long ago before our son was born, that we should run away. I would say this when things were challenging at work or with family, or when things would become too routine, too mundane. “Let’s just run away,” I would say to him. “We can go anywhere.” There is something very appealing about packing a bag, picking a point on a map, and leaving. Back then there was no house, no mortgage, no obligations beyond paying the rent and showing up at work.
There is something deep inside of me, still, that loves the romanticized version of that, even though I know it will never be the thing we do. But now, more so than running away, I want to hold on. I want to feel anchored. I sit with my little family in the early evening and I think about how blessed I am, how lucky we all are to be here, together, anchored by this house, this community and each other.
I’m not sure it will always be like this. Everything changes over time. Our son is growing up, starting high school in the fall. In four short years he’ll be making his own life, following his own dreams. And maybe this house will feel less like an anchor and more like a ball and chain. But when I think about the future, about where we might go from here, I still see us coming together in the early evening, sharing a moment of simple expectation.
Even now, that thought comforts me.