February is here and, as Valentine's Day approaches, I would like to share with you this story of love.
I first met Howard in 1978 in Arizona at Rainbow Gathering, a community of 10,000 people. We were on a piece of land out in the middle of nowhere, with the sole way in being a long hike. You had to bring not only what you needed to survive on the land for your stay, but you had to give something back to the community. I had traveled there with some friends from Cloud House Poetry Center in San Francisco.
Howard was one of only two people that I met there who exhibited a special, very attractive energy to me. We both worked in a food group. One day as we hiked from the kitchen area to the eating area, a friend led us in a song. I carried a bunch of pitted cherries on my shoulder and Howard trekked ahead in the line. While we walked up the hill, his voice flowed back over me. His voice was deep and it had a timbre that resonated with me. I thought "Oh, what a beautiful sound and what a beautiful voice!" From that moment I was drawn to him.
The next time I saw him, a few days later, was right after I had attended a rebirthing seminar. At the workshop, many of us had been partnered for simultaneous rebirthing. During the session I had felt my nerves seize up and then break through the block into clear mode. From that state of mind, that state of heart, I returned to my camping spot. Poets were reciting their poetry around a campfire someone had started. Then Howard showed up carrying a guitar and began to sing. I could see what he sang was more than words -- it was the tone of his voice and his delivery. His song came from deep inside and had so much beauty that I wanted to be part of it in some way. I knew some sign language so I started signing his words back to him across the fire. He looked up and he noticed me signing. He saw me exactly as I was, completely rebirthed, completely open, and hearing who he was and what he had to say. As he sang, I sensed his inner being. I felt that he longed to be one with me, that he craved love. I could feel through the way he sang, through the opening of his voice, that chest-rumbling sound that is his voice.
After the campfire sharing, I got sick and didn't see him again for the remainder of the gathering. I thought, Well, that's it then. I returned home to Santa Cruz.
About two months later I heard that a group of people from the gathering were coming to do a festival in San Lorenzo Park in downtown Santa Cruz. So I went and there he was. When I saw him I started signing to him because somehow I thought he knew sign language. He had mimicked me back at the first camp. He knew who I was and I knew who he was. I felt overjoyed to see him again. However, I was still somewhat shy.
We took part in an ortho-bionomy workshop which included massage. I felt his touch. I felt the depth of love in him. I was still a little too shy so I let the opportunity to get to know him better pass.
During the next few days I met him again on a beach. He ran around trying to get a huge banner to stand up against a teepee. The wind from the ocean kept scooping and blowing this way and that. The banner showed two hands holding the earth and read Protect, Respect, Celebrate.
Howard had the spirit to set himself an unbelievable task that a reasonable person would never undertake. I loved that persistence about him. Again I felt who he was inside. Again I didn't invite him anywhere because I still felt shy and hesitated putting myself out there. However, I was really interested.
A day or two later I ran into him a third time when he was shopping. I realized that he didn't have a lot of money and that his life wasn't running smoothly. I thought, What this guy needs is a good home-cooked meal. So I invited him home.
He had a swollen knee and walked with great difficulty. I did some massage and I worked on his knee. I fed him and showered him and fell in love with him. I invited him to stay and he did. He moved in with me. It took us eight years to commit to marriage, but we already had the relationship. We've been together for 32 years.
I am the happiest when I'm with him. There's an incredible feeling of comfort when I put my head on his chest and he hums in his deep bass voice. To me, his vibratory resonance of voice goes beyond words. This resonance exists in both of us in many ways -- the touch aspect, the sound of our voices and the joy of singing together, the ability to talk about anything at all to each other, the love that is bigger than frustration. He is someone I can count on. With Howard, I get the feeling that I can surmount difficulties even when I don't know how. I suddenly find that a way always exists when there is love.
"Resonance" is one of a collection of 50 stories in my book "Heartbeats, True Stories of Love" and is available on Amazon and Smashwords as an e book and paperback.