I’ve been here before.

Waiting for my children, who are inside the belly of a big silver bird, that’s carrying them through time and space nearly 2,600 miles to me.

But, this year, it’s different. Someone is waiting for me. He’s babysitting my little tow-headed lab with the painted ears, and has given me specific instructions that I’m to text him announcing the safe arrival of my bugs on Montana soil.

Love has found me, at 46-years young. It has arrived in storybook fashion, unexpectedly and with such a jolt as to send my world spinning from the outset. I’ve spent the better part of my days trying to capture what poets, artists, and writers have been trying to get at for millennia – this thing called love.

I read recently that the heart has its own central nervous system. That it should be given the same due respect as our brains. Since its arrival in my life, I now believe this to be true. I thought only my children could cause me to feel my heart so separate from the rest of my being.

But, his absences tug and stretch at my heart, while his nearness causes me to feel as if it will certainly explode from my chest. He only has to think of me, no matter how far away he may be, and my heart registers his thoughts. I should know from my children that it is possible to be completely emotionally linked to another soul.

“I am strong, if you are strong,” the bracelet said. I’d worn it until I met him and then taken it off thinking I no longer needed it. I’d given it to a friend who seemed to need it more. But, right now, I can heed those words and remember that it is true of him and me, as well as of me and my children. He is now a part of my emotional linkage.

Tonight, I can be strong for my children because he is strong for me. I can feel it. This is my blessing, my start to a new year and the doors to my future. I thank God for him, for us, and for the life we will build together.