It's late, and usually I am in bed by this time, but Starman is away and I miss him. I couldn't sleep very well last night. I was cold and once or twice I rolled over, and he wasn't there. I've never before missed him so much. And over the years he was often away more than at home. In fact for three years, he lived away half across the country and only came home at weekends. In that time I grew so very independent. I was very busy holding down a teaching job, ferrying our young children to school, supervising building work being carried out to our dear old farmhouse, exercising the horses as often as I could find time. The list was endless. It wasn't a particularly good time. I would look forwards to him coming home on a Friday night, and inevitably by bedtime we were arguing and at odds with each other. I had been in control all week, and there was no way I was going to stand down for anyone. I wouldn't give an inch. It got so bad that eventually he decided to come home mid week, on a Wednesday night, and I think that was what saved us.
I've always quite liked it when he's gone away on business. I could always get on with things without interference and interruption. I could eat what I liked and go to bed when I liked without caustic comments about fattening foods, or the lateness of the hour. I laugh to myself when I think about it.
Because right now all I want is him back here, at home, with me!
Dd has done something to my brain. It has whirled it around inside and shaken things up. Or perhaps it's my heart?
All I know is that we were once like two people joined by a length of rope. All we ever did was to pull in opposite directions. If we ever got nearer, it was only in passing as we rushed past each other to pull away once more. A strange dance of distance. Of disharmony.
Now at last we are dancing like this:
I'm not terribly good at it. There seem to be so many steps to learn, and the tempo keeps changing, and I occasionally I trip over his feet! But he has his arm around me, his hand pressed into the middle of my back, and he is clasping my hand tightly in his. We are dancing a very slow Waltz. Around us are other couples. Some of them are doing the Tango, and some are doing the Quick Step. Some are even getting themselves into a Twist.
And we are watching them as if in slow motion. We didn't begin to dance together until a little while ago. I am a little confused by it all and it shows on my face. Starman is moving me around the floor in a very confident fashion, (he's always been a very good dancer), and I have discovered that so long as I don't try to lead him, I don't get tangled up as much as when we first began. The dance is beautiful and romantic, and it doesn't matter that we don't yet know the twiddly bits that many of the other couples are performing.
I don't need a dance card, because Starman won't relinquish his hold on me. I don't need to follow in the same direction as other couples, because Starman is guiding me in his way. I don't need to worry about our Waltz getting faster or becoming another dance completely. Because if Starman wants to go faster I know he will do it slowly and surely, so that I am able to follow him and not get left behind. And if he should fancy a Rumba or a Cha Cha, he will teach me the appropriate steps and variations, so there will be no need to worry about not getting it right. And if I should try to tug away or try to spin instead of circle, I know he will gently pull me back in and correct my steps, ensuring that any forward motion is constant.
The rope that was always either tangled or at full stretch, is now firmly wound around our two bodies. It is not tight enough to cause either of us discomfort. But it binds us firmly and irrevocably together, its fibres as strong as titanium bands.
I still don't understand the emotions that flow through us both. I still haven't fully reached the stage where I am completely compliant and vulnerable. He still hasn't fully reached the stage where he realises that he is once again leading this dance.
But once again, after half of a lifetime, we are dancing in comfortable harmony with each other. I am gradually relaxing into him and relying on his strength to lead. We are finally moving together, instead of moving apart.