As soon as I step out the front door, I see it.
Big, bold, beautiful.
The first bloom on our hibiscus.
As soon as I see it, I whirl around and head straight for the front door, straight back inside to tell you. Only, as soon as my hand grasps the cold metal of the doorknob, my heart grasps the cold, hard reality of your absence once more.
Tears spill down my cheeks and drop onto the welcome mat.
And, the longing of my heart spills out into words that aren’t merely running through my mind, but are tumbling out my mouth. Out loud. For anyone and everyone to hear.
“If only I could tell you! If only I could run inside, grab your hand, and lead you outside to see this beautiful bloom! If only I could . . .”
Tears take over and all I can do, despite all I wish I could do, is cry.
Looking down at the welcome mat, this new place I find myself, here without you, feels anything but welcome.
And, if truth be told, without you sharing our address, sharing our kitchen, sharing our conversation, sharing our prayers, sharing our bed, and sharing “us”, I no longer feel welcome here either.
It’s as all that once was, no longer is.
Everything is new. Only none of the new I am experiencing is welcome here either. None of it.
Except, maybe, the beautiful bloom on our hibiscus.
I still remember the day you bought it for me. That day, knowing how much I love these big, bold, beautiful blooms, you were the one heading straight for the front door, straight inside to grab my hand and lead me out to see the new “beautiful” you had bought for me.
“Look, Beautiful! Just for you! And, look how beautiful! Just like you!”
I loved it. And, I loved you all the more because of it.
As I stand in the doorway, half way in and half way out, I realize I have a choice to make.
I can let this moment steal the beauty of what now is by longing for what used to be, or I can let this moment stir up thanksgiving for the beauty you have left behind.
As new tears slowly make their way down my cheek, landing once again on the welcome mat, I choose to welcome this new bloom, this new beginning, this new moment into my life.
“Thank you, Handsome. Thank you, that even now, you are still making my heart smile, still starting my day in a beautiful way, still reminding me of your love, still leading me out to see the beautiful new thing God is doing here in this new place.”
If only I could tell you. If only I could . . .