The swans are back on the lake for the winter. Just one pair, they come every year.
I have to go deeper into the forest to glimpse them up close. At first they are hidden by the reeds but as I step into the water they stir and swim towards me, elegantly posing side by side.
They mate for life. As I have.
My mate is building a wall. He faces the sun which warms his hands on the cold stones. Blissfully happy out in the air, away from the writing and the issues he wrestles with in the world of change.
We glide past each other in opposite directions. We chat. He talks to me about stones. He points out dozens of seagulls coming in to wash in the lake. He speaks of weather fronts coming in from the north and searches the sky for blue patches.
I talk to him about creative struggles. Should I explore a new location? Will I begin to tweak my photos a bit more? Maybe I need to alter my workspace?
Later he is on his way to empty the kitchen bins. One for cooked food one for uncooked. He is meticulous about this. I am the one who messes it up….. all the time. As he passes he puts an arm around me and says my name………with such enthusiasm! I laugh. His mucky old hat is askew on his head. His grubby old jacket dusty from the stones.
I have heard stories about love. About mating for life. About swans who live in peace all their lives.
And now I phone him from the forest. “The swans are back again!” And I know that he, the one who holds the key to my heart, is cheered by this ordinary piece of news in a way that only he would be……….