Staying far away from my significant other is part of being a student at Carnegie Mellon. When stepping onto a bus or a plane back to Pittsburgh, I can feel the fine threads connecting our hearts begin to wind out and stretch. My heart lies in his chest, when I spool out our connecting thread to cover the miles between us, the emptier my chest is. That thread has never broken, but sometimes it feels as thin as gossamer, like a harsh breath could whither it.
We’re choosing wedding rings this week. Plain gold bands, no troubling diamonds, no scratchy patterns. Simple. I was trying to remember why I wanted a ring at all–shopping for rings when living two states apart is lonesome-making. Looking at another elegant sliver of connection, I realized what the ring is to me. My wedding ring is that thin thread made solid. Even when we live together, it will be a reminder of the strength we spun into our relationship by living apart for our first five years.
With this in mind, I can see myself washing gardening dirt out from under my wedding ring, or rubbing lotion around it, or spinning it with my thumb during a meeting. Knowing the ring is a symbol for something which feels unique to my dear and I, it has a place in my future.
Now, to buy the darned thing.
“Shall we compare our hearts to a garden –
with beautiful blooms, straggling weeds,
swooping birds and sunshine, rain –
and most importantly, seeds.”