08 January 2013

warm, chocolate thoughts

Being back in the white mountains has mounted in nostalgia for me. A year ago when I first took a plane by myself to visit my love, I was filled with worry and apprehension. Though I knew my heart was his, I had doubts from sources that seem terribly unimportant now. But within moments of walking through the terminal and seeing his bright cheeks and fierce eyes, I knew I was somewhere special. I felt into his arms and the groups of people next to us cheered quietly.
"Welcome to New Hampshire," he whispered into my ears.

The first two weeks I spent here were vibrant, crisp, and romantic. I met Ben's friends from childhood who grasped me in warm hugs and drank warm liquor with his family in the wooden bar his father tended to. Ben and I stayed up late building fires in his woods and listening to Bon Iver tracks for the first time.

I wrote in my diary, "Fires are burning and my life has a reason."
Though I wasn't sure what.

As our pending college graduation loomed, the winter that had surrounded was not one that brought chills, but warmth. Ben and I fell like leaves from trees and my worries of us being separated come May felt like years away.

It was a very different kind of winter, an even more unknown winter from this one. But it was utterly magical. We spent the nights warming the house with family recipes and at night, after glasses of milk, vodka, and kahlua, I read him poems from the backs of my notebooks and he played his guitar along with my words.

One of my sweetest memories from those magical two weeks was when B's oldest sister celebrated her birthday party with us, requesting swiss cheese fondue, fresh baked bread, homemade angel food cake, and a deep, warm chocolate for strawberries and dessert. I had never had a meal quite like this one, but I fell apart in love with the food, B's family, and the white covered mountains I was staying in. We all talked throughout the night, dipping our fondue sticks into different pots and cherishing each bite, each sip of wine, each conversation that ended with a thought or a laugh.

I was so grateful when B's sister called us earlier in the week and asked that we have the same party before she returns to her grad program in Rhode Island. The night was as delicious as I remembered, but it will never have the same meaning as the first fondue party had. Instead, this party was filled with family--a family I now felt slightly apart of. There was comfort, thoughtful gift-giving, and familiarity.

These nights have been special markers for me and I'm happy this time I can share photos. Though they don't do it justice because of the poor lighting, I hope some essence of my happiness shines through.

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