We’ll let blood build a bridge over mountains draped in stars
I’ll meet you on the ridge between these worlds apart
We’ve got this moment now to live then it’s all just dust and dark
Let’s let love give what it gives
Let’s let love give what it gives
Springsteen, Worlds apart
My second visit introduced me to a very different Jersey than the one I’d experienced up to then. As I’ve mentioned, that previous four weeks we’d spent together had taken place over a hot, humid, downright sticky summer.
This time, it was February.
Now, Melbourne enjoys what you’d call a temperate climate as a rule and while it can get damned hot in the summer, the winters are generally pretty mild. Snow is simply not a feature of a Melbourne winter.
Imagine my delight then when I found myself presented with this scene…
But perhaps I’m getting a little ahead of myself.
I arrived through the exact same doors at Philly airport as I had on the previous visit, but unlike that occasion, Jersey girl was waiting for me right there on the other side. Both of us were holding on to our tears as we embraced for the first time in many months. Words cannot convey how good it felt to see her face gazing up into mine.
Gone was the rabbit in a spotlight stare of our first encounter. All I saw in her eyes were happiness and relief. This time, when I kissed her, she returned it with feeling; seeming to melt into my arms.
She was dressed very differently to that first meeting – layered and scarfed – and when we stepped outside I certainly understood why. Compared to the fairly mild weather I’d encountered on my brief stopover at LAX, it was frigid here, so we hustled our butts to the car and were soon tracing that now familiar route back home to Jersey.
We were happily ensconced within our bubble of easy familiarity; chatting and joking all the way home. There’s a very particular kind of tension that occurs between two people as close as we are who see each other so rarely. It doesn’t show in the conversation or even the body language. It exists almost at the sub-atomic level.
I suppose it might be described as an intense vibration or frequency, but it’s more like a contained explosion or a harnessed chain reaction. However you choose to describe it, it’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced with anyone but her. I would gladly traverse this planet a thousand times over just to feel it.
I remember being silently grateful that, despite this being the second visit, we both seemed as highly charged as we’d been that first time. The energy whenever we touched was galvanic; glorious. It’s just as well the children were with their father that night, because – and I don’t wish to appear indelicate or gauche here, but – we didn’t even make it to the bedroom; not even close.
Sometime during the night, the snow began to fall and continued steadily for the entire next day (which turned into a week). This resulted in the creation of what, to me at least, seemed like an alien world.
I’ve spent time in the UK, so I’ve encountered snow before, but never like this. I’d really never seen this anywhere outside of a ski slope. Jersey girl was amused by my inability to curb my enthusiasm for something that, to her, was almost mundane. The silent world that had descended around the house had managed to reduce me (elevate me?) to the emotional level of an excited child.
Even the dogs seemed a bit perplexed by my unrestrained exuberance.
Which lasted until the first time – and sadly not the last – that I had to dig a path to the road to extricate the ice encrusted car from the driveway.
All words and images in this post are my own.