About one week ago, Oz took me on an adventure. We visited Native American burial mounds and hiked through the serene woods. We found a road that was closed to vehicles, but decided to hike it anyway. It had been raining on and off all day and my feet became mops. But I didn’t care.
Down the closed lane, we found a service road which we followed for a bit until we decided to go off trail. We weren’t the only ones to do so, it seemed. We followed quite a few deer tracks. But something else had already followed these tracks. A coyote. We found ourselves in a little clearing, with deer and coyote tracks, and evidence that this was an important scene.
Tufts of deer hide littered the grass. Vertebrate and skulls ornamented the lawn. Under a shady grove rested three full deer skeletons. You could even see the corporal position they were in when they perished.
It was beautiful. And exciting. We decided it would be in our best interest not to linger, in case the canine returned to the scene. As we were leaving the area, a deer burst through the brush in front of us. She leaped away to another clearing. It was a perfectly magical moment. Oz leaned in and kissed my hugely smiling face. The energy of the area was palpable.
It was easily the best day I have had in 2013 yet.
So it only makes sense that it is followed by the largest fight Oz and I have ever had.
(Taking for granted all couples fight. Lucky for us, it is more about the tough situations we find ourselves in and not personal vendettas or flaws.)
But I just couldn’t shake the memory of burial grounds and the coyote keep.
It’s all a struggle between life and death, and the fact that we are somewhere in between. Having questionable health makes one keenly aware of this. Of the fact that we are somewhere in between what keeps us alive–fighting– and what ultimately kills us–fighting. And while we are stuck somewhere in between life and death, I have to wonder about love. Is love a catalyst to the situation, or its only antidote?
James Baldwin said, “Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is a war; love is a growing up.”
So where exactly does loving, truly loving, fall on the spectrum?