MS and I spent a long, beautiful weekend at the beach. We brought very little with us, some salmon, some music, some clothes, not enough champagne. Why is there either too much or never enough champagne?
And we brought Maverick. River did not get to come because we were in a wine-and-lounge-chairs mood, not a running-down-the-beach-after-the-wayward-leaping-Golden-pup mood. Maverick needed a break from low, guttural growling–his own, warning River to behave. Two-year-olds can wear an old man out.
Mavi doesn’t run off down the beach. He can be led to flush a stand of birds, but the flutter and rustle of their wings just doesn’t pull him out of himself. Always well-disciplined, he’s growing even more reserved. I can’t stand the thought of what lies ahead, I really can’t.
I’m a soldier of love, all the days of my life
So we drank our champagne, wishing for more, soaking in the new spring sun on the most gorgeous days of this year, listening to music, telling each other stories while Mavi rested, at turns guarding and napping.
The best getaways orchestrate their own mixtape. This trip was held by Sade’s new work, Soldier of Love. As good as you’d expect. The title song is a quiet anthem, and I’m claiming it. It suits MS too. It suits Maverick. It suits us all, all of us who soldier on.
In the wild wild west, trying my hardest, doing my best
After dinner one evening we remembered this night long ago, when we attended some friends’ wedding reception where every bottle of champagne, boxes and boxes–including the extra boxes purchased just in case, were mistakenly opened all at once and poured right after dinner, an expansive sea of bubbling flutes filling a long oak banquet table in an old garden house, and how that night there was too much, finally too much, a stunning, laughable abundance, a fantastic mistake of gorgeous proportions, seemingly endless, but of course it wasn’t.
The river ended that night, even while you were drenched in the middle of it you knew it couldn’t be poured back and that soon the effervescence would stale. It had to be loved that night, loved right then and there with no regrets or second guessing, because once poured that champagne was in a sandy hourglass just like our lives, only bound to last for a few sweet hours until we walked away, knowing every possible toast had been raised, knowing we couldn’t possibly offer any more.
I am love’s soldier!
So Soldier of Love is going to help me remember the goodness of this weekend. It’s on the mixtape I hope I never need, the one will press in MS’s hands should she ever want (oh please no, no, never) to leave me. Why is it the preciousness of beautiful time always leaves me melancholy, makes me feel losses that haven’t even happened yet? It’s on the mixtape I’ll play for myself again and again.
I’ve lost the use of my heart
Look at that good, good boy. We’re going back in a few weeks. First there is work to be done in town, things to be nailed down, gardens to be turned, pups to be wrangled. But in a few weeks, we’re headed back, because this is the time to be outside on those porch slats: it’s springtime, and it’s like all the bottles are open at once.