We bound through the trails of a local state park, sail over logs and rip around corners. His face is lit with mischief and amusement at my slow pace. He tears off down the trail and bounces gleefully back to me. I am terrified that I will break myself on the rocks or spectacularly fall in front of him. He lifts me over a gate at the end, probably so he can steal a kiss. (Not that he has to steal any of them.)
I take him to the holler. We hike up in those sacred woods where I still feel the spirits of loved ones past. I am befuddled by this man who walks straight into the creek wearing his shoes as I carefully remove mine and carry them to the other side. He chats cheerfully with my aunt. He lays on his stomach in the dirt to take pictures of mushrooms. My aunt tells me how much she likes him. She says he smells like a man.
We dance in the street at a small town festival. We sneak out for nighttime strolls in our little neighborhood. We climb mountains and hike trails in four different states with babies strapped to us.
When the drops start falling, we run outside to play in the rain.
Our early days are sunshine streaming through trees, creeks laughing, breezes carrying the echoes of flowers, dirt and sweat. He gallops ahead, pausing frequently to make sure I haven’t lost my footing along the way.