It felt like months since the last time the sun was out. Of course, it has been out; but its been timid, and not very sure of itself; like a…no, I won’t go there. This morning, though, the sun was a powerful force, like a sun shining on—darn it!
Out of frustration, the writer puts his pencil down, takes a deep breath, holds it in, coughs, coughs again, thinks about how he used to be able to hold his breath for almost two minutes, picks up his pencil, and starts again.
This morning, though, the sun was a powerful force. It was as if the sun knew our plans needed its bright glow. She woke up first, as she always does, and my eyes played follow the leader to hers. “Happy birthday!” I said, as I reached over to the bedside table to feel for my glasses.
“Thanks hunny.” she said with a smile that turned to a yawn; while squeezing my right hand like a gentle, baby python.
When my left hand finally found my sight—thank goodness for glasses—I was able to take in this perfect morning: Her hair was in a bun that swirled like a chocolate-vanilla-twist cone, and the sun shone at the top like sprinkles. Her eyes were emerald green with hints of ocean blue and sunflower yellow; her lips pressed together in perfect harmony, with an inviting lure, and a smile that created dimples so pure. And underneath the blue blanket, her body took on the form of a mermaid, showing off her captivating curves.—oh, and the room looked nice, too.
Not able to resist, I rolled over on my side, squeezed her mermaid-like body with my string-bean arms, and began to sing: “Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you….” Midway through the song she joined in, and I couldn’t help but smile wide. Two minutes into the day, I thought, and already it’s the best birthday ever. “So, birthday girl. How would you like to start off your morning?” I asked.
“Um, well…”—she tapped her fingers to her lips as if she were in deep thought—”perhaps, maybe some cereal.” she said in a silly but cute voice that always made me smile.
“Absolutely! For you—anything.” I gave the back of her forehead a kiss, peeled off the blanket, and took off for the kitchen to make her a bowl of my famous cereal. The sun illuminated our four-room loft, and by the time I got to the kitchen I was wide awake. “What do you want to do today, Chel? I asked while cleaning up droplets of spilled milk with my fingers.
“I believe that maybe,” she was using the cute voice again, “we should go kayaking.”
“That sounds perfect!” I handed her the bowl of cereal, picked up her new scarf she opened the night before, and waved it around like a ribbon dancer.
“Go get ready, goof.” She was shooing me away with a smirk.
Not wanting to ruin this day with my amatuer dance moves, I obliged, but not before I did one more shake with my hips.
This day is perfect, I thought.
“I’ll grab the starburd side of the canoe!” I sad in a pirate’s voice.
“It’s a kayak.” she said with a laugh; knowing darn well that starburd isn’t a thing.
We managed to get the first kayak on top the van within minutes, but the second was a nightmare, and we weren’t exactly kayak experts or canoe experts or loading them on to cars experts; we were just two love birds trying to kayak on her birthday. “Alright, you ready to lift?” I asked.
“Oh—yeah!” she said with the enthusiasm of a high-school cheerleader. We gave each other a look of confidence; then she gave me a head nod like a pitcher showing the catcher she’s ready, and we lifted. We hoisted the miniature boat high above our shoulders, too high above our shoulders, I thought. This is too high, I repeated in my head. The kayak began to wobble from side-to-side, the wind picked up, and decided to pick the kayak up from our hands and toss it to the side like a rag doll. We gave each other a glance of disbelief; which turned into a look of annoyance, because we were still miles from any source of water. We stood there in our disbelief for a few seconds, until she began to laugh. Ah, her laugh: it’s a laugh that can change my mood in an instant. Someone could throw garbage in my face and call me a cupcake, and I still wouldn’t mind, so long as she were laughing (which if that happened, she would laugh).
Two hours went by before we had the kayaks strapped to the van—but it didn’t matter. We were proud of our heroic work, the sun was in full-force, and we were ready to adventure to a place we had never been before. I wonder if back in the day they could travel wherever they pleased? thought I. You know, with no GPS and all. I’ll have to look that up on my phone later.
So, there we were: you and I, and a van with two kayaks on top that looked like mismatched puzzle pieces. She turned on the ignition, put her small-boned foot on the gas, and away we—rat-tat-tat-tat-tat! The kayaks were pounding the roof like a jackhammer in New York City; and the faster she went, the louder they got. She glanced over at me, and asked over the noise: “IS THIS ALRIGHT?” She was so perfect, I thought. Always asking if I was alright. There was a brief pause, and instead of speaking, I just gave my incredible wife a smile and a nod. She kept driving, and I kept staring at her driving.
This day is perfect, I thought.
We arrived at our spontaneous kayak spot a little after an hour of listening to sounds-of-a-kayak banging-on-the-roof-of-a-van, by two kayaks: a lovely song; I recommend anyone who loves heavy metal to give it a listen. We parked on an off-road patch of dirt, right next to our lake for the afternoon. We both got out of the car. She took in the view of the lake; while I took in the view of her standing by the lake. The lake was in somewhat of a secluded area, off to the side of a back road. It was surrounded by paper-birch trees that were quite common in the north regions. There was a small, dirt shore that held our canoes—I mean kayaks—in place. About a football field away (which is the only measurement a football player knows), was a small island that held little life: just a bent over tree that seemed to be giving up, or maybe praying; and a few plants that were holding on to its last leaf—but the water surrounding it seemed full of life.
Our canoes were packed with drinking water and Chex Mix. You know—the essentials.
“Here, let me help you in.” I said, as I offered her my hand for balance.
She took my hand, and with it, I l helped guide her to her comfy bucket-seat inside the kayak. Her squeezing my hand, trusting me to care for her, filled my heart with love. “I love you.” I said.
“I love you more.” said she back to me. “Now come on; let’s go, slowpoke.” And she pushed herself off the tiny shore and into shiny, dark-blue water that looked like the hint of navy blue in her eyes. Doing my best impression of a trapeze artist, I balanced my weight step-by-step, as I settled into my kayak. I pushed off the shore like she did seconds before, and into the water that was now ours for the moment.
She kept her kayak a few feet ahead of mine. And I kept mine a few feet behind her. It was perfect this way. She, got to take in a nature that she loves so much; and I…well, I got a chance to watch my wife in all her beauty. With the sun shining down on her like she was a star on Broadway; and her audience was the world; and the world slowed down so they could watch with me; and time seemed to pause so her and I could take in every moment.
She is perfect, I thought, she is just perfect.