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Had I Been With You

Published November 15, 2007        by Nicole

thumb hearst Had I Been With You I sit in the restaurant of our favorite museum in Europe. It is a time of reflection for me and I feel inspired to write. I miss you and I love you.

This is my first trip alone since our marriage, but this trip is different. An old friend is ill and called for help, for me to come and visit. Because you know I love you and am committed to you, you let me go. In between periods of long conversations and intimate discussions, I sightsee. I go to the museums and visit the historic buildings. It is absolutely not the same as doing these things with you.

All of this leads me to think about why it is so wonderful to travel together. We go to have a good time, take a break, learn, and experience. Generally we accomplish all of these ends. Moreover, we always enjoy each other's company and deepen our knowledge of each other. You laugh at me for my elaborate preparations but you enjoy knowing you are cared for. Still, the most important part of traveling together is that we have plain, old-fashioned fun, the warm, constant, having-a-good-time kind of fun. I enjoy having you by my side. I enjoy your presence, your being, kindness, gentleness, humor.

Each of us cares that the other is having a good time, and we share. Together we decide what we most want to see. Then we discover what moves and inspires us. We work in tandem. You drive and I navigate. I plan, you approve and help to execute. And then we have our debriefings. What have you most enjoyed today? What have been the highlights of the trip so far for you? You are delight-able and your delight helps mine blossom.

Yes, sometimes things do not go smoothly.

Sometimes we upset each other the way we might at home, yet you are committed to settling our disagreements so we can get back to enjoying each other's company. And when external circumstances cause part of a trip to be less than excellent, we do not diminish our own good times.

On Sunday my friend was tired and I spent the late afternoon alone and had dinner by myself. Had I been with you, we would have eaten together. We would have taken a long walk to the restaurant. I would have sent you an Italian gift basket because I knew it was your favorite. Alone I was hesitant to do so. The streets were deserted and not inviting for a solitary walk. When we are together we make empty streets interesting. We comment on how the smallest urban details help to illuminate a culture. Alone I note them, but without you to share these observations, my delight and interest in what I see is diminished.

So I miss you now. Traveling together is giving and sharing. I will see you soon. I cannot wait.