The Gloaming

When I was a kid, I hated Sunday nights. Back then, Sundays were an empty time when many stores were closed and no good TV shows were on. That night, as I got into bed early in preparation for school the next morning, I felt sad and lonely, even with my family in the adjacent rooms.

Saturdays I anticipated eagerly. That was the time when I didn’t have to wake early, I could take my time, stay in pajamas, linger in front of the television or return to the kitchen for something else as the appetite hit me. Saturday was a day of doing and going and being amid the elements – I loved being outdoors without an eye on the clock. And while Sunday had the same indefinite element to it, I knew Monday was on the horizon and with it, the time of everyone going off in their separate directions to get things done.

Last night, I coasted along peaceful waters as the sun dropped behind the trees in an orange glow. It was colder on the return than on the departure, and it occurred to me as I burrowed into layers of coats that there is a certain excitement in the going out and a resignation upon the return. No longer a sadness nor a loneliness, for in all that I’ve been through in the past 36 years, I’ve finally come into my own in a wonderful way.

But I relish the eager excitement as I embark on even the smallest journey or the shortest path and give in to the acceptance of serenity upon my inevitable return.

My ex-husband moved his belongings out this week. I now inhabit a house entirely my own with my three wonderful children. My new dishes sparkle from the cupboards. The counters are clean and every day I eliminate more clutter.

The metaphor of all this is huge, I know. Years ago, I chased every date, job, and journey in search of that happy equilibrium that I never found. When John flew back to Ann Arbor after his graduation in search of something more with me, it still wasn’t true love. And when I walked down the aisle eight years ago with a bouquet of coral-colored roses in front of my handmade white dress, I thought I was walking toward completion.

Today, newly divorced, a single mother, an entrepreneur, a woman with reddish-brown curly hair that sometimes does what it wants in spite of my desires, I finally have it. Equilibrium, completion, serenity, silence – a better bouquet than the most fragrant flowers, a more promising relationship than any I’ve known thus far with another person.

I am eager for the outbound, no longer afraid of the return.

I don’t hate Sunday nights anymore. In fact, there isn’t a day that I dread nor one that I particularly await. For I know that around every corner, there is something wonderful to discover – whether it’s new or familiar. When they are with their father for the weekend, my children return to me on Sunday nights. And though I feared I would hate the time that they are away from me, I don’t. I miss them, but now I have myself in time, and that is a great gift.