She brings flowers

Into our apartment they come, the week before Valentine’s day. Half are the beginning blossoms of a tree cut in secrecy, the thin branches supporting new blooms. The others, pink tulips of a delicate age, she purchased at a roadside stand on 19th to offset the earlier theft. By the time I return home they are carefully placed, a few in each room of our house’s three. The living room, largest, has several shapes, a bowl, a glass, a vase. A long branch carefully balanced cascades from the high shelf near the bed, its shocks of blossoms dark purple above my head as I sleep. On her side the tulips are more equal partners, playing their lighter pinks against smaller portions of this former tree.

I watch them all while she is at work, as they open and bloom, grow full and start to wither. The weekend approaches with proclaimed importance, and we do make plans and small gifts to each other. After several years of uncertainty we are celebrating comfort and the will to keep on going.

What good things are we making, I often ask, in the evenings.

It is a question that comes to me in long hours of silence as the wind blows off the Pacific and the afternoon light fades. On this Friday in February, as I look around our little house I find a response.

Beauty in small daily doses is her answer.

And in our Sunset studio scattered petals flutter down.