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The Dance in Knowing


It’s great to be known.

There is a dance in knowing – in the pursuit of the dozens of details.
The lyrics that matter,
the way she takes her coffee,
the way he likes his eggs,
what it means when she smirks that way,
what it means when he clears his throat that way,
how she taps the steering wheel with two fingers,
how he gestures when he’s most emphatic,Wildflower bouquet of oxeye daisies isolated on white background
the way her face changes when she doesn’t want to cry,
what he’s thinking across the room,
when it’s time to leave the party,
yellow roses or white daisies,
lemonade or iced tea,
beach vacation or mountain getaway,
when to speak and when to listen,
what matters most and not at all.

I learned to know my husband,
the million lines that connected his dots.
There are a million I never learned before he died.
Our rough patches popped up when we stopped finding each other interesting,
when we thought we had learned it all.
Then it was time to leave town and let a new environment teach us a few new things.
Now, as I wait to see him again someday,
I feel like I am learning him all over again in his absence.
In some ways, he makes more sense to me than ever.

I learned to know Tucker.
As he grew inside me,
folded in half, sitting in my pelvis,
his head bumped into my ribs.
He got hiccups every afternoon.
When he was born,
I knew the roundness of his head,
I knew those hiccups that still came every afternoon.
I had learned to know him.

I learned to know Tyler,
active as a litter of puppies swimming in my stomach.
The pointed chin on the ultrasound screen,
the pointed heels in my sternum.
He folded up when he slept.
When he was born,
I knew that chin, I knew those heels.
I held my folded, sleeping bundle.
I had learned to know him.

Waiting is a period of learning.
long distance friendship,
Waiting is learning.

The longer we wait, the more we learn.

Henri Nouwen wrote,

“Just as a mother feels the child grow in her and is not surprised on the day of the birth but joyfully receives the one she learned to know during her waiting, so Jesus can be born in my life slowly and steadily and be received as the one I learned to know while waiting.”

May he be the One I learn to know.

Tricia Lott Williford

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  1. Simply beautiful…

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