(I wrote this for CBS This Morning when they challenged us to write a note to ourselves at twenty. Since they didn’t pick my essay I thought I would post this with WNIJ and here.)
Note to myself at twenty:
If you met the man you will marry, you’d walk right by. He is no college grad. He can’t spell. He jokes about his nose. He lived with his mother. But you won’t walk by him at thirty. Those prayers you said while looking at white pines pointing at the constellation Sagittarius will come true. The men you will love will open your heart.
You will meet your husband when he fixes your phone. Your home will be mouse-infested because you were out of town when the granary closed. You will chat, laundry basket on your hip, and make a date. He will bring his Shopvac to sweep up the mouse turds.
You will stand under a tree in the moonlight, saying why he should not love you. He will hold you as gently as he might a sparrow. You will feel your body’s joy. But his hands are so smart he will fix a window sash. He will make a step back cupboard like the one you left in your childhood home. He will wrap you up in his arms first thing in the morning and hold you when you put your cat to sleep.
He will leave his mother for you. He will say I do in a lovely deep voice and keep his promise year after year despite your fear he will abandon you. He will love you more than you have ever been loved before while he washes your clothes.