The holidays are over for another year.
It's so, so cold. The wind howls around the corners of my house at night now, and I can hear it, like a living thing trying to get at me through the walls, a living thing that wants to possess my soul. The snow in my yard is deep. There are dirty piles of it lying there, discarded, at the edges of my driveway. When the sun shines, every other day or so, and even then just for a few hours, it's dim, pale, weak. The trees around my house are just sticks, brown and brittle-looking, reduced to skinny fingers, jutting up into the gray sky. Their branches creak in the wind, and rattle against each other like old bones, breaking the winter silence.
And worst of all, Daniel is not here. It's so, so cold without him. I stand in my yard and look at the bleakness around me, and I miss him. I sit at my kitchen table, trying my best to eat the food I have cooked for myself, but everything tastes like sawdust, bland and lifeless, and I miss him. I stand in my living room, wondering what to do next, to fill the empty hours before I can go to bed and sleep, trying, always in vain, to blot out the emptiness, and I miss him. I lie in that bed every night, alone, and it's so, so cold, and I miss him. It's so cold now. Everywhere.
And the holidays are over for another year.
It's almost April.
Easter is next Sunday.
It's getting warmer now, every day. The grass is green in my yard now. It won't be long, and I'll be spending time mowing and weeding and digging in the dirt. When I go out back and step off my deck, the sun is warm on my face. I lift my chin, my eyes closed, and enjoy the soft warmth of it on my face, shining red through my eyelids. I breathe in, and the smell of damp soil and last year's leaves, lying in little clumps under my bushes, fills my senses. As I open my eyes again and take a good look around, I welcome the changes I see in the earth. The trees and flowering bushes have buds on them. The crocus bulbs that I planted last fall are poking up through the garden loam, next to the foundation of my house, over where it's warmest in the sun.
And best of all, Daniel is back. I stand in my yard, and look at the new life all around me, and my hope is in him. I sit at my kitchen table, and find that my appetite has returned. Even the simple things I cook for myself seem to have taste now. As I chew and swallow, I can feel the life flowing back into my body, starved for so long not only of nutritious food, but also of someone to touch it and make me whole, and I have hope. I stand in my living room, and make plans for the place. A new couch for that wall, the rug rolled up and sent to the cleaners, and the fireplace needs to be scrubbed after the long winter. I have hope again, in me, in my home, in Daniel's place in my life. I lie in bed every night alone, running my hand back and forth in the empty place right next to me, over there where the sheets are so cool and undisturbed, and I have hope. I hope that soon I will have the courage to tell him how I much I love him, and how very much I need him. I have hope, and its name is Daniel Jackson.
It's almost April.
And next Sunday is Easter.
Today is the Fourth.
It's so, so hot. The sun beats down mercilessly, scorching my yard in its intense white light. Every day, I irrigate my lawn and flower beds, and everything is growing, reaching for the sun, sprawling in a mad rush to climb, to propagate, to make up for lost time. My lawn is green and needs to be mown every weekend. The trees are heavy with leaves and early fruit, the branches low and bending towards the ground. My roses are in bloom, pink and yellow, red and white. The hollyhocks climb my back fence, trumpet faces lifted to the sun in a riot of yellow and pale blue. The tubs on my deck have bushy tomato plants thriving in them. Small green tomatoes, a promise of things to come, lying in heavy redolence, are growing larger every day as the sun shines on them, and the water I give them soaks their roots. The American flag I have hanging next to my front door declares my patriotism, as the long, elegant folds of Old Glory flap lazily in the slight breeze.
Daniel is here now, with me. I wrap my arms around my chest and hug myself, thinking of him. My life is not a dream; he's really, really here with me, and the joy of it nearly overwhelms me every minute of every day. I stand in my backyard and look at my deck. The barbeque stands there. We have grilled many a dinner over those briquettes. I look at the chaise lounges, where we sometimes rest in the sun, wearing our shades, our fingers intertwined in the gap between our chairs, and I have joy. I sit in my kitchen now, sharing meals with Daniel. The food seems tasty and filling, now that my appetite has returned full force, and the companionship we share gives me joy. I stand in my living room and remember only us. I think of evenings in front of the fire, of cuddling on that new couch, of our passion anointing the clean rug, of hours together, spent watching baseball on TV while he reads, his feet in my lap, and I have joy. I lie in bed at night and he is there, giving me everything I need, receiving all I can give back to him, loving each other, whispering, laughing, crying out, and I have joy. I celebrate my joy. Our joy. It's so hot now. Everywhere.
And today is the Fourth.
Thanksgiving is next week.
It's still so warm in the daytime now, but cold at night. The days are shorter; the nights arrive so much earlier. Most of the leaves from the trees in my yard have fallen. They lie in golden disarray, awaiting the discipline of my rake, but content to linger in perfect patience, their job done for another year. The few leaves that still cling to the trees rustle in the wind now, making a dry, whispering sound. Acorns lie on my lawn, waiting to be picked up and tucked away by the fat squirrels that live under the rafters of my garage. The air is crisp, and although the sun is warm, the breeze against my face is cool, hinting at what is to come, when my yard will once again lie under a protective blanket of snow. The earth is gradually going to sleep now, seeking the rest it so richly deserves for having worked so hard all summer. There is a quiet about this time of year, and for the first time in my life I am at peace with myself and my surroundings. As nature lays up a provision for the coming lean, cold months and slowly, slowly goes to its rest, I give thanks for what has been provided for me.
Daniel has moved in with me. Oh, he still has an address across town, but he is almost never there. This is our home now, and I have peace. I stand in my driveway and look back at my house. I am struck almost dumb with the overwhelming knowledge of Daniel's place in my life, of how he belongs with me and to me, and I have peace. On Thanksgiving, I will sit in my kitchen, and the smell of the turkey cooking in the oven will fill the house. Daniel knows how to make stuffing, the old fashioned kind with the chestnuts. And we will have acorn squash that we grew ourselves in our garden last summer. We will bake it with brown sugar and butter, and I will have peace. I sit in my living room now, on my well broken-in couch, and I watch football on TV while Daniel reads. His feet in my lap are now covered with heavy socks, and I have peace. In our bed, we vow to never be alone again. The arms around me at night belong to my lover, my life, my reason for being. As he gives himself up for me, it is my privilege to give back to him whatever I can, whatever I think he needs, and I have not only peace, but perfect peace.
And Thanksgiving is every day.
|Genres:||Angst, Established Relationship|
|Summary:||Jack ponders the natural seasons, which reflect the seasons of his life. Spans Season Six into the beginning of Season Seven.|
Author's Chapter Notes:
One corner of a clean hankie may be required.