It’s evening time, the time just before dusk when the sky seems to go on for years and stretch out endlessly in shapeless splashes of color rounded with the blurred edges of puffy clouds and their intricately soft texture.
I look up into the endless sky and remember the dazzling woman who turned my world upside down with her magic. The most mundane things, the things that must be done every day, that must be done to maintain the interesting parts of life, those mundane things she loved. She danced when she walked and she sang when she drove. She would point out every small piece of the world and tell you how improbable it was that it existed, and yet how many times improbable things happened each day. She delighted in a flower, no matter what stage of bloom. To her, a newborn blossom just opening its eyes to the world was just as beautiful as the withered bloom from last year, caught against its parent in a spider web to be preserved.
She brought joy with her even through the most difficult times. She insisted each night, no matter the day or the weather, that we would sit together on this little patio and watch the sky change. Sometimes we were silent, sometimes there was conversation, or stories, or singing when the children were with us. Sometimes we stayed until we couldn’t see each other in the darkness, only feel each other. Other times it was just for a moment as a bird flew across the sky.
Wherever we were, she would make sure we stopped each night for a moment to look and see all the little improbable things around us. She would point out a tiny firefly and tell me how lovely it was that this creature existed after so much pure luck and so many pieces needed before it.
As we grew older together she seemed to lift herself to the clouds, higher and higher. Until I could see her running there, on the bottom of the clouds. Her hair flowing out behind her, like a little girl’s, but when she looked back, I saw her beauty and every moment of magic and laughter she brought to me.
She was saucy and sexy and quick to a joke with a flash in her eye, a quirk in her eyebrow. She loved to see the laughter and disbelief when she surprised someone with her wit. She loved confusing me with her wit, and her belief in the tiny improbabilities.
The sky would stretch on, and she would run across it, walk across it. The outline of the trees around our valley would deepen and darken until it was the sky and fireflies lighting her up for me, lighting her way to dance across the evening time sky.
After she was gone, I swore I could see her still walk the clouds like she used to. I swore I could see her face, looking back to me and laughing, telling me something simple and beautiful she had seen that day as we sat together. I spent years watching for her walking in the clouds in the evening, looking over my shoulder to see her there when the kids brought their kids to sing stories and catch shadows and moonbeams like they had done here as children. She was always smiling, and I always missed her.
This evening I’ve searched for her in the clouds, but she hasn’t been here. I can feel the exhaustion in every part of my body, calling for me to go inside, to close my eyes, to rest or give up on my woman in the clouds. She was there so often, I thought she would be disappointed if I didn’t stay to see her when she came. She would be disappointed if she thought I doubted her presence.
The sky lengthens, and I wish I could walk on it with her. I’d always wished to walk the clouds with her, our hair drifting downward, seeing the whole world from a new place.
I sigh and my eyelids shift lower. The sky is reds, golds, and shots of deep sky blue. The trees are darkening. But I can feel warmth enveloping my body. But it’s alright, she is there, walking in the sky to me. She looks so beautiful and her eyes are dancing. She wants me to go sky walking with her tonight. Tonight I know I will, tonight I see her reaching for me. Tonight she’s singing for me, and I can feel her warmth.
I’m reaching for her even as my eyes drift shut and I’m moving towards her. Tonight she’ll teach me how to sky walk with her, and we’ll see all the tiny improbabilities from a whole new perspective.