It is about 4:00 am and I reach for my bed lamp and pull the chain. The dark is lit. This is a holy time for me– the quiet, this secret hour. I wonder whether I’ll choose a book or a pen. These are my pleasurable choices.
I am me in this quiet, a woman reaching for words. This world of words has sustained me since childhood. This is where I find myself – a woman looking for words, to read or to write. Sometimes I stumble on a truth so delicate and strong that I am astonished.
This time, this privacy is where I find me, usually with words though sometimes on an island walking the tide line, or heeling a boat highest into the wind. I find me there, too. Other times I find me in the words I share with students in the classroom, a privilege that carries responsibility, and other times I find myself in my grandsons’ eyes.
I don’t think I saw me clearly in my lovers’ or husbands’ eyes as some people do. The completeness I yearned for years, thinking it was in the joining of body and life with another person – that never happened for me. Maybe I expected too much.
It is on the page I can be most myself.
There – that is truth, as I know it now – finally. Perhaps that is why the search for someone to be with is over. No more searching, no more glancing up to see in the face of a stranger if he might complete me. There is relief in knowing the searching is over. I am not sad about it.
I know something about me I didn’t know or accept before. I try not to weigh myself down with expectations. I have my four o’clock hour where there is silence and words.