Food off my plate

It’s like a second skin that you slip back into after many moons have passed.

You see him as part of a group gathering, this man you shared a small part of your young life with. And he still carries your bag to the car. You turn to find it, spinning, wondering where it went. And then you see him, already halfway down the driveway, placing it in the trunk.

And you smile, softly, to yourself. There he is. The “he” that you knew so long ago. Still so much himself, only worn around the edges—smoothed—in the beautiful way that happens when life has its way with us.

While the others tease you, as they love to do, and you all laugh, he sits in his usual quiet way. Smiling through it all, with watchful eyes in which you see gratitude for old friends, old jokes, known ways. As you share a communal meal, convivial conversation and wine flow down the long table. And suddenly, you look down to see an intimacy you’d forgotten you had. His fork taking a bite of your meal, absentmindedly, as if you still had that kind of relationship. That food-off-my-plate, easy, intimate, comfortable relationship.

In a flash, you are decades prior, lying in a college bed and talking until the wee hours. You are both so full of dreams, of promise, of a life you’ve really just begun to live in the way ambitious souls do. And you wonder what pulled you apart, although you know quite well. You each had places to go and people to see that weren’t each other. He went east, then west. You went to the Big City. He needed things “just so.” Your free spirit chafed at that. And so it went, separate ways and all.

Is life a series of leavings? Or a string of reunions?

You don’t have time to ponder the questions that flit across your mind because he is offering you a bite of his meal. And you take it, knowing this is as far as it goes. That you’ll both wander off later for a private talk by the fire. The deep respect and affection you still hold for each other palpable to those around you. But you each have made promises to another, commitments you’re both honorable enough to keep. There are so many ways to love. And you each decided long ago the limits between you. Decided them with vows in separate churches, happy tears in birthing rooms across the country from each other, the daily commitments a marriage takes in different kitchens, bedrooms, soccer games for children you don’t share.

So, for the moment, you take the bite he offers, meeting his eyes briefly.

And you smile that soft smile again. Food off your plate. You’d forgotten. How nice to be reminded.

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33 Comments Add yours

  1. Beautiful. That last paragraph!

  2. How lovely to feel this way … so special. Magic moments yes 🙂

    1. candidkay says:

      It sounds like you’ve had a few of your own magic moments. I am loving that most of the people responding here seem to have. And that they are happy memories rather than ones that evoke sadness now.

  3. Roy McCarthy says:

    Always good to have parted in a civilised manner so a reunion is at least nothing to be avoided, and at best a comfortable friendship.

    1. candidkay says:

      Yes. Civilized is good:). Does this mean you have stories to the contrary? And are we going to hear those tales spun in your blog? Wink, wink.

  4. My God, this is beautiful. ❤

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you, Jennifer:). Kind words and much appreciated!

  5. This is lovely – such a beautiful, touching relationship, I’m glad you have it in your life.

    1. candidkay says:

      Me too, Andrea. Thank you❤️.

  6. pirootb says:

    “There are so many ways to love”. Yes, indeed!

    1. candidkay says:

      And isn’t that grand? And confusing. All at once.

  7. What a sweet post! I could picture this all in my mind. Beautifully written! Thank you for sharing! ❤️

    1. candidkay says:

      Aw, thanks, Rachel. I love it when I can take you somewhere with a story😊.

  8. markbialczak says:

    It is lifting to see how love can weather many seasons in separate fields and still be carefully and properly harvested by the planters of those first seeds, Kay.

    1. candidkay says:

      Right? Thank you, Mark. So many different kinds of love, so many different paths for it to take.

    1. candidkay says:

      I’m so glad:). Thank you for visiting and commenting . . .

  9. jaya says:

    Beautifully written. Thanks for sharing.

    1. candidkay says:

      Welcome! Thanks for being an online visitor. Wade on in, the water’s fine👍🏻.

  10. Karen Lang says:

    So beautifully expressed! The fact that you gave this unconditional moment, space, is really what allowed you and us as readers, watch this unfold without attachment or longing. That’s a gift. Now let’s try and do this in every part of our life ha!! 💕💚

    1. candidkay says:

      Oh, you overachiever, you!😉 Every day?! This happened years ago and I’m just amazed that I had the wisdom to allow it to happen then :-).

      1. Karen Lang says:

        Ha! Well it still applies today and everyday! So thank you for reminding us 👏

  11. And the beauty of it is the ‘unconditional’ that surrounds the encounter. Just holding the light that it created and allowing it to just be.
    A very lovely, soulful inner touch dear lady. Thank you for sharing that love 💜

    1. candidkay says:

      Oh, you pegged it. The unconditional:). Thanks for getting it, Mark. And for the kind words . . .

  12. mydangblog says:

    How breathtakingly lovely. I felt like one of those friends, sitting around the fire and watching this with my heart smiling 😊

    1. candidkay says:

      Aw, 😊 thank you. I hope it brought some good feelings your way.

  13. Dale says:

    I know exactly what you are writing about, Kristine. I could never have put it so beautifully. The wistfulness of fond memories brought back.
    Lovely, Just lovely.

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you, sweet, brave gal❤️. Wistful is a perfect way to describe it.

      1. Dale says:

        Takes one to know one… ❤

  14. This is beautiful… can’t imagine it would be my experience, but I’m glad it was yours. 🙂

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you. Kind words, and true–we each have our own version of life, right? But I’m glad this was mine also. I hope you experience an equivalent joy in something on your journey:).

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