I’m paging through my cottage, taking stock, throwing out all that is heavy or excessive. (The weight of longing for you might decline once all around me is lighter and simpler?)

I stumbled upon an old vintage tape measure in a box I inherited from my father. It is small and almost a pewter-like in color, with the edges lightly encrusted with rust from the humidity on the mountain. It’s not bright, black or plastic like the tools of this age. It’s worn, but it has character and still only measures in inches.

As I stood staring at the little tool, an almost-art piece, my mind shot back to your silhouette on the little veranda. You we’re sitting deeply relaxed on the folding chair with a beer and your legs loosely crossed. Almost cut out like a scrapbook picture by the afternoon sun, against all the green surrounding us. (Oh my love, you were always such a picture to me.)

You were telling stories with a Bob Dylan vinyl turning in the background . Allowing me to page through pages of your life. I allowed you to page through mine. We stumbled upon a chapter we shared: a soft spot for carpentry through the love of the fathers before us.

You flicked out a picture of a handwritten letter you found in your grandfather’s toolbox you inherited. A gentle plea between the carefully kept chisels: to find joy in the works of your hands. To look after what is gifted to you in life.

Darling, I saw your eyes soften like the sun rays through the large old trees. Oh if these trees could talk. I later learned how you put that plea to practice in so many small acts.

So Dearest, though I long for you today, holding this little measure, I shall remember: to find joy in the works of my hands and say thank you for all that was gifted to me… including your timeless love.

She’s got everything she needs, she’s an artist
She don’t look back
She can take the dark out of the nighttime
And paint the daytime black

– Bob Dylan; She belongs to me.