My missus gets up early on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for her part-time childcare job. But on the remaining four mornings we indulge in one of the best parts of our marriage, the contemplative joy of sitting for an hour or two in each other’s company.
It is usually the best part of the day. I start with a coffee, and Maureen with tea. We might discuss our dreams, on those occasions where we haven’t forgotten them. How well we slept, or whether there were any text or WhatsApp messages from the offspring. Did the cats all get fed? Progress reports on the aches and pains of encroaching ‘oldgithood’.
There is a lot of the quiet that comes with decades of togetherness. But it can also be a good window for releasing our grumbles, revealing sensitivities and discussing difficult topics. For example, I wheeled out the recent contract loss that will hurt my bottom line (Blog 42) as we sat and watched the sky brighten over the back garden.
The cats sit and listen, never judging or criticising. The general trend is that the conversational width expands so that, perhaps, a remark about Maureen’s great-nephew Harley (pictured in Blog 40) might lead into the challenges of single parenthood, and the recent move by Harley’s mum, Jessica, into a larger flat where the young lad has his own bedroom. That might flip us onto our parenting past, and a whole gamut of memories, and maybe how three of our parents died too young to see the full growing up of Lauren, Josie and Rory.
Then all kinds of fruitful stuff, which can drift in a heartbeat from the more everyday issues of politics, work, gardening, food, neighbours, sex and money into the occult and the esoteric. Death, religion, conspiracy, ETs, magic and the mind. I know that she will humour me if I point out that the word ‘synchronicity’ has occurred in Blogs 30, 34, 46, 49, 55 and 58….and that these should therefore be our next set of lottery numbers. That’s love, but is it the future calling back?
I adore it when she tells me about being asleep at home, aged 16, in 1975. Her parents had gone to visit her very poorly grandmother in the Isle of Wight, and Maureen awoke at about 5.30 a.m to see her nan standing in the bedroom doorway. Very grey-looking, almost as if in an old photo. She found out later that day that her gran had died at around that time.
Sitting and listening is such a pleasure. I’m still learning to keep my own thoughts at bay, to ‘shelve’ them in a cloud somewhere so that the talker can get to the end uninterrupted.
Eventually the practicality of the day kicks in, with its attendant chores and routines.