Taking Root

I planted all of the succulents that were in my bridal bouquet.  They root in pots at my kitchen window.  Peripheral, they soak in the warmth of dinner time.

I heat miso soup on the stove and make chard cakes from our garden harvest.  The Bohemian talks to a Czech friend , that beautiful, foreign language rolling from his tongue, mingling with soup steam.

One rose-like floret, thick and lush, calls me from my chopping.  There’s symmetry in bloom.  Two perfect drops of water, cupped.

The Bohemian must have watered.  It looks like new growth.  I believe the succulents are taking hold.


The Take-Away

I’m living the inverted check mark. The downward, sloping short end on the other side of the peak in the classic, narrative arc graph.

You know the one? It exemplifies the narrative structure of any good story.


It starts with a set up. Introduction to characters, setting. Then there is that inciting incident. The moment that changes everything. Developments ensue. Challenges, complications. All leading to that pivotal dramatic high point of the story. The apex of the check mark. That climactic moment that the tale has been telling towards. It peaks with thrills, turmoil, excitement…and then…resolution.

The little downward stroke of the inverted check mark, this is the resolve. Revelation on how everything has fallen into place, post-drama. The “take-away”.

That’s me. Resting here in the take-away. The lull between sets on an ocean of activity, that perhaps, began with the set up on that fateful day I met the Bohemian back in 2011. The plot leading up that nice sloping narrative trail to the high point of our wedding day on 11-29-12.

It was a year ago that a loyal Archive follower said to me “everyone loves a good love story.” He was referencing my thread of posts detailing the vulnerable and exhilarating love that was blossoming between the Bohemian and I. At the time he spoke those words to me, I couldn’t even dare to hope I’d see the Bohemian again. That’s how fearfully I treaded through my heart opening. How cautiously I allowed Love into my life.

Now in the resolution phase of our storyline (at least this portion of it), I’m left with a mix of emotions of which I’ve been trying to find words for over a month. Not much has been written here of the fairytale ending to the unlikely love story. Why?

If one were caught swimming at sea in a series of enormous, crashing waves – a booming set, one right after the next, pummeling and frothing in all of their powerful might – how would it feel, to then find oneself in a pause? Waters calming. Waves just gentle. You, simply bobbing and catching your breath.

Everyone loves a good love story. And people just adore a happy ending. Somehow, quite surprisingly, I ended up with both. Maybe I’m just stunned.

What’s the take-away for happily ever after? I got everything I wished for and more.

At this resolution point of the inverted check mark, this narrator can’t tell you how everything falls into place. After living the dramatic high point, I’m still rushing from the adrenalin of experiencing something greater than myself.

Yes, I’m still breathing. No, words are not yet formulated.

And maybe. Maybe the take-away has an arc all of its own. Maybe I’m charting my own graph. Maybe, in due time, I’ll find a way to express it here to you.


* special thanks to author Hope Edelman for gifting me a simple breakdown of the narrative arc.  A basic guide for a lifetime of stories.

Settling from the Wedding Swirl

With nearly a month (as of tomorrow) since the barefoot, Bohemian wedding, I’m just beginning to settle down.

It was a beautiful swirl of friends and family. Candles, flowers and foliage. Lots and lots of love.

photo courtesy of Amy Vanderhoop and Pepe Conley
photo courtesy of Amy Vanderhoop and Pepe Conley
photo courtesy of Amy Vanderhoop and Pepe Conley
photo courtesy of Amy Vanderhoop and Pepe Conley
photo courtesy of Amy Vanderhoop and Pepe Conley
photo courtesy of Amy Vanderhoop and Pepe Conley

Now we are newlyweds (with a nine-year old). No honeymoon, as of yet. We’ve moved on to birthday and Christmas celebrations.

Back in our routines, the Bohemian stays his steady self, though we watch his wedding ring go through phases. One day it nearly slips right off his finger. Days later, it’s tight to the point of no removal. Mine, I barely realize it’s there. Just like I wanted. Beautiful. Solid. Golden. No muss, no fuss.

And Jeb. He’s on school vacation, rekindling his love for the card game, Uno. We spend evenings in a mellow, post-dinner phase. He and the Bohemian matching colors (“draw two cards and change to green”) while I fit jigsaw pieces of bunny fur into our newly gifted puzzle.

Just before the holidays, the Bohemian topped a nearby Norfolk pine tree and brought 10 feet of greenery home. We planted the trunk in a pot, right here in the living room. Now we’re all strung up in lights. Shiny balls hang in red, green and gold, creating the epitome of Christmas cozy (though we’re all sock less here in the tropics).

Jeb finally wins a round of cards. My bunny is starting to take form. The Bohemian is whistling a Christmas carol at the sink.

I know clichés are boring. But this one does feel lovely.