have a loneliness inside me for you. My soul keeps it in a carry-on bag and stores it close at hand. I don't usually feel the weight of it, unless it is time to pull it down from the overhead carry bin inside my mind. A warm summer breeze threading through my hair, laced with the fragrance of magnolias, the sodium-lime odor of hot concrete, and barbecue smoke from a neighbor's back yard, will prompt me to have a look inside. While I look around me filled with thoughts of you, it seems there is a rift in the world I observe. A tear in the fabric of what should be whole but is now a flapping open of seams; where the scent of your cologne, and the timbre of your rich and vibrant voice, the tall solid vision of you, gone missing now--traveled onto other realms--have left in the wavering rip only blurry glimpses of the past. Moments you have stood there, sharing yourself with me; firming up the walls of my existence. Making my reality a strong and viable force just by your presence. Merging with me on several levels, filling up my lacunae and making me more whole. Those places we shared grow more hollow, with only my memories of you trickling through what once was abundantly full when it was we two. Sometimes I do not wish to open it, the carry-on bag, and gaze within. Sometimes I seem to almost have forgotten what now is. And then it will happen... I'll get in the car, hoping to drop in and see you during the wintry holiday season. Step out of the cold and wrap myself around you in a hug. Your smile warming me to a toasty glow. When the sky is alive with storm clouds and bold winds tear through the city, I recall gazing at the dark clouds, listening to thunder and waiting for the lightning, excitedly with you. Our faces gazing up into the first sprinkles of the storm. On the Spring day, redolent with the smells of new mown grass, orange blossoms, and gentle rains in the nearby hills, I'll make my way to your place. You on my mind. Excited about what I want to share with you. But I can't. That is what once was. The echoes floating out to me, remind me. Reverberate, tainting my exuberance with remembered regret. When it is sunny and hot and a cool breeze dances through the odd summer day. When the zephyr flirts with sun glistened vegetation, and ruffles the petals of roses, I will recall similar days when I listened as you shared your fears and hopes, your loves and joys. And as the breeze lifted the summer heat, the words you shared refreshed my spirit. Gifts, is what they were. In the autumn, when the western horizon was ablaze with fiery clouds and liquid hues, like watercolors, spun the sky with reds and oranges and gold, we would both sigh at the awesome workings of nature and God. In the evenings, when I am taking a walk and twilight embraces me, thoughts of you will waft around me. Shadows of you, the many facets that comprised your spirit, walk with me--keep me company. Whisper to me. You are here, and you are not. It is an uneasy compromise. But one I'll live with. If it is the only way I can have you, then so be it. I am smiling. *** © copyright Kathy Pippig Harris
Kathy lives in California's San Joaquin Valley with her husband and furry family. She is a weekly columnist for the publication "Frank Talk" and a published author of five novels. She states, "Were it not for her need, desire, and love of writing -- she would surely go mad!"
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