"Who knows how long I've loved you..."
"Who knows how long I've loved you
You know I love you still
Will I wait a lonely life time
If you want me to I will
For if I ever saw you
I didn't catch your name
But it never really mattered
I will always feel the same
Love you forever and forever
Love you with all my heart
Love you whenever we're together
Love you when we are apart…"
I have always felt this way about my children and my husband. It is as if I have always known them. And when I say always, I don't mean as far back as their birth -- or mine -- but to and from infinity and beyond.
And meeting someone new -- a family member of a friend -- has often been more of an, "oh, I remember you," than a "nice to meet you."
There is always something vaguely familiar poking at the edges my heart. It is almost as if I've seen them somewhere before. But the details of the memory elude me. There is an, "oh yes, there you are" to the shade of green in my eldest daughter's eyes. A foreverness in the way my sister's fingers feel -- slender and cool in my hand -- as we talk about hopes, and dreams, and heartbreak.
It is found in the graceful beauty of my girlfriend's gestures and mannerisms whenever she's animated about something. It is in the sharp intake of breath, and then the shy girlish giggle, when my mother is startled. I hear it in the sound of another daughter's voice singing from behind my seat in the car. And the way her sister's eyes well up at the thought of a homeless puppy waiting for adoption at the neighborhood Petsmart. It is in the color of the African veld at sunset. These are things that feel as timeless and familiar as the strains of an ancient lullaby.
I have written about my confidence in the eternality of life -- when a loved one has passed. But I feel this same sense of timelessness about a child's birth, meeting a new friend, or discovering love.
Carly Simon sings in "Life is Eternal":
"Life is eternal
And Love is immortal
And death [birth] is only a horizon
And the horizon
Is nothing save
The limit of our sight..."
I believe that the horizon we call birth, is nothing but the limit of what we remember. And the timeline of measured moments between birth and death which we refer to as life -- and then try to extend as long as possible -- is just one chapter in a very long book. Just one more expanse of prairie, between mountain ranges. Simply the stretch of landscape we can see in a given moment. But not the end -- or the beginning -- of the journey itself.
Early memories -- our own, or those of someone who claims to have been there -- seems to define the beginning of our lives. But what if these moments -- when we recognize something familiar, in someone we are meeting for the first time -- is really just a glimpse beyond the last horizon.
I only know that when my husband laughs, I often feel that I have known that sound longer than my own name -- or his. I know that his hand at the small of my back -- gently steering me out of harms way -- is as enduringly familiar, as my own hand against my cheek in sleep.
It gives me great pause to think that perhaps we are rarely meeting anyone for the first time. Maybe we are just reconnecting on this side of the last horizon.
"…And when at last I find you
Your song will fill the air
Sing it loud so I can hear you
Make it easy to be near you
For the things you do endear you to me
And you know I will
Here is a link is to my favorite recording of
I will…" by Alison Krauss
always -- and again,