A Few Decades Ago . . .

Starr Cochran

A Few Decades Ago . . .

And a hundred miles away I fell in love. I don’t remember it well.

The book of poems I wrote back then contains a voice I recognize but the sentiment feels like it belongs to a stranger.

I wasn’t looking when he came along, my first and only adult love, the one to whom I poured my heart out on those pages through the many years of our marriage. Then one day I didn’t feel like writing anymore.

There was a teenage love, if one needs to label it, which began and ended during those years. I didn’t write any poems for him. Maybe because that love felt more goofy than real if that makes any sense. Looking back that relationship feels like a lot of silly…I’ll just die if I don’t hear from him today… What if he doesn’t like what I’m wearing…What will my friends think of him…Will we get married. Perhaps it goes along with that time in our lives.

Which brings me back to the phrase falling in love. For me the idea conjures up the image of two people jumping off a cliff into the unknown. When we were young and didn’t know any better, the experience was new and exciting; we explored and discovered and grew together. The thought we could crash and burn didn’t occur to us…we were invincible back then.

Now that I’m of a certain age I know too much to want to fall in any matter of speaking. Let’s face it, we don’t recoup like we used to, and flexibility isn’t what it once was whether you’re talking about our bodies, our lives, or our hearts. Given that, perhaps love is better experienced with our feet on the ground. If we’ve been lucky to have had a yeehaw love story in our younger days, there’s no going back and frankly, who wants to go through that again. And I’m not saying there isn’t some pliability left to be part of a couple again. (I prefer to put rigor mortis off as long as possible.) The love experience can’t help but be different.

As I ponder the possibility of finding love again, I have new questions. What does a relationship look like after years of living alone…How will blending families, friends, money, our lives – work…How are we going to spend our days…Where are we going to live.

While romantic love may not look the same as it did in our youth, or even feel the same, love can be worthy of our desires even at this certain time in our lives.