The first thing I heard Sunday morning was the rain. Not heavy, but steady.
It was very early. It was very dark.
Warren was playing two morning church services in Columbus before dashing back to Delaware for the Symphony's two holiday concerts in the afternoon. We got up, showered, dressed, ate, and were out the door before the sun was up.
My heart was not into it. Nether was my mind or my body. I was going through the motions, but even those were clumsy and forced.
Warren knew I was struggling. "You don't have to go with me, you know," he gently offered. "I can do this on my own."
I knew he could. He did it for years on his own - he and his then spouse often going their separate ways to their separate activities, so much so that by the time the serious marital problems began, there were few common ways left to build upon. So I wasn't terribly enamored of Warren's offer to go alone. We do as many rehearsals and performances jointly as much for the opportunity to spend time together and stay connected as anything.
We left the house. I commented briefly that it would be dark again before we got back home.
The drive to Columbus was silent but for the windshield wipers shuusssshing out a rhythm. Warren was quiet. I was quiet.
It was early. It was dark.
After several miles, I reached over and touched Warren's hand on the car seat. We didn't clasp hands, but linked our fingers.
A little touch. A warm touch.
As we drove, the dark lightened and the landscape started to take shape. Inside, my dark lightened and my internal landscape started to take shape. Slowly, I started to give up my negative feelings: that I was tired, that this weekend was all Symphony and nothing else, that I felt - oh, not sick, but achy and out of sorts, that Monday was almost upon us and nothing was done.
I let them go, gently tugging free the little claws they'd sunk into me. I loosened them, one by one, until they were gone. And then I sat there: empty of the negative but also empty of anything else.
It was early. The day was coming into view, but it was still gray. I watched the lights go by, watched the rain kiss the road.
I silently reflected on what was left when the negative was gone. The car is warm, my health is good, I have a wonderful husband whom I love dearly, I…
Warren broke the silence. "I'm so grateful for you," he said, squeezing my fingers. "It's so wonderful to have you here with me."
A little touch. A warm touch.
Postscript: I penned most of the above post sitting in the sanctuary of the church while the musicians tuned. Earlier, I'd listened to the choir warm up, lifting their voices to the soaring ceiling of the beautiful modern structure. My spirits and my heart rose with them.
As I predicted when we left the house early Sunday, it was dark long before we returned home. The rain turned to snow early on, adding a new dimension to the day. It was late when everyone finished breaking down the stage and hauling the equipment off, later still when we finally got the first hot meal of our day as we joined Dave and Kermit for a late night, snowy night supper downtown.
Having emptied out the negative feelings, I had ample room to let the good of the day - the music, our good friends, the snow, the community, sharing the fun (and the work) of concert day, Elizabeth with me at the concerts, coming back to the quiet of our home after it was all over - fill me anew.
They were little moments, warm moments.