Cheyenne and I say good night to our dinner mates and head up the path toward our bungalow. The air is redolent with jasmine and honeysuckle. I breathe deeply, pulling in the fragrances, the cool evening air through my mouth, my nostrils, my ears and pores.
Cheyenne tucks her arm around my waist and I lean my head on her shoulder.
“Aren’t we about the luckiest two people alive,” I ask.
“No, we are!” Sixteen year-old Jason and Tawnya skip past us, hand in hand, flush with youthful love. They run down the path and out of sight, toward the stream, where very likely they will do more than look at tadpoles.
Cheyenne and I turn to one another and smile, eyes twinkling.
Ah! These summer nights, cool after a warm day, the fog rolling in and out, trying to decide whether to stay and give us a few cold days, or move on and let the sun out in the morning.
Cheyenne yawns. “I’m sleepy!” she says. Let’s go home, snuggle into bed, and read aloud to each other.”
We are re-reading an old favorite, The Mistress of Spices, set in a time when the world was not yet as peaceful as it is today, when hearts were not as soft or as comfortable in their skins. But the rich language, the textures and mystery draw us again and again to the story.
At home, comfy in cotton knit jammies, I open the bedroom windows wide. Fully screened, running nearly floor to ceiling, and spanning the east wall, broken only by a door to the front porch, the windows let in first the delicious evening air, then the last call of the big, fat robins, singing to one another as twilight begins to settle.
Murgatroid paces on the porch outside the screens, her nails clicking against the cool slate floor. A breeze stirs the clematis and wisteria vines.
Already in bed, Cheyenne opens to our last-marked page and begins to read:
I am turmeric who rose out of the ocean of milk when the devas and asuras churned for the treasures of the universe. I am turmeric who came after the nectar and before the poison and thus lies in between.
With your easy, poetic style, I am transported to another time and place where I can live sensuously, enjoying the sweet, fragrant breath of air that I rarely enjoy now. I can feel the knobby tree trunk on my skin and the raspy tongue on my toes. Such simple pleasures often forgotten here and now.