Waking up at the farm this morning was the salve on the open wound that is my life. Ben flew in yesterday afternoon, trading a case full of dirty clothes for the case full of clean ones I had already packed and we were off, latching the kids into the backseat of the truck and headed off down the rainy highway to Nolan's farm.
We got here around seven-thirty last evening and Nolan ladled up some of his beef stew with buttered rolls that warms me better than the fires he builds and my eyes were so heavy I think I barely registered Ben pulling me to my feet and walking me to our room at the end of the hall. I'm sure I registered the part when he undressed me and pulled the quilt up to my neck and then he went and took a shower because for some reason when he flies now all we smell is airplane fuel afterward. Like he's a sponge soaking up the smell of travel and it's not pretty. I think I smelled soap in my dreams though, that's good.
This morning it's still raining heavily, too wet for a comfortable trail ride or even an umbrella walk but we were up fairly early to relieve Nolan of his morning chores in exchange for the safe refuge and hopefully the weather will clear before we have to leave here. I don't want to leave here, I think I could happily draw a line in a lazy oval shape around this property from the tree up by the Kentucky rail fence where the driveway begins to the picnic rock by the stream on the other side of the pasture and burn the line right through until we separate from the rest of the planet and drift away into outer space.
But only once the boys are here. I couldn't be without them. They were sweet this week too. Lochlan watches over us at home and August tried and failed magnificently at being less like Jake and won the mother of all meltdowns when he came over for dinner on Thursday and tucked into his food like he hadn't eaten in days and it was a flashback to something wonderful that's gone. Gone but not forgotten. Gone but missed every second of the day, gone and not coming back so stop finding him in everything. August has had to pick up a lot of the emotional slack that Joel used to manage and Ben still can't manage, and for gosh sakes, Bridget doesn't manage but Joel is still forbidden fruit and August is still too much like Jake and really, all I could do was count the seconds in the minutes and the minutes in the hours and after 25,000 seconds and then some Ben was home and August wasn't Jake anymore and no one blamed me for what has become a trend of late. Miss Jake? Find August.
It can be worse. Miss Cole? Find Caleb.
I never said I was healthy in those areas. I'm probably a lot less healthy and a lot more twisted than I would lead you to believe. And I refuse to hide behind missing Ben or being afraid he will never come back (bad things, they happen in threes!) to have my bad behavior excused so easily. No, I seek them out and I take what I want and it makes me feel better for a few thousand of those precious waiting-seconds and then it makes me feel a whole hell of a lot worse on the other side because it magnifies the truth and the truth burns like hot iron.
But for now, nothing burns. The fire is out and I'm watching Ben wash dishes and when he's done I'll go over and stand on his feet and he'll put his arms around my head and I'll put my cheek against his chest to get the reassurance of the pulsing heart inside and then we'll have to find something to do because card games are getting old and it doesn't look like the sun will shine today.
It's okay. I don't need it to.