Tonight we dressed up just a bit, and exchanged cards. Then we drove to Mignon, a pleasant restaurant in the western part of Plano. We celebrated 19 years of marriage.
Mignon is a wonderful restaurant--we'd had a quiet, glowing Christmas dinner there some years ago. The menu runs more surf and turf these days than the original French emphasis, but the service and menu carry off with such aplomb it remains a cut above other restaurants in our area.
We sat outside, on a small table for two which looked down on a fountain amid a creekway. We watched lots of ducks swimming below--tame ducks and wild ducks, mallard and muscovy. We watched mother ducks herding ducklings.The scenery proved serene. The meal proved delightful.
We marveled at our good fortune, having perhaps more than the allotted share of happiness and good fortune in our 19 years together. We married in Kansas City on a misty day when the dark clouds made the grass look particuarly Spring-green. We found ourselves quite fascinated with the view.
Suddenly, beneath a small bridge, a new visitor appeared, just on the other side of the concrete creekway.
He was a large bobcat. We don't see many bobcats, as their nocturnal and cautious nature makes them furtive around people. Perhaps because we were above him, and perhaps because no people were nearby, he walked with only a quiet, confident caution.
The ducks raised an alarum, of course, once they realized he was walking by. The mother ducks prepared to do battle. The male ducks rallied around also. The ducks perhaps understood that in the water they were able to do battle--but nonetheless justly alarmed by such a large bobcat in broad daylight.
The bobcat looked confidently straight ahead, and just kept on walking. He ignored the ducks, and walked calmly past us all underneath the next concrete bridge. Suburbia hosted its wild visitor, who took its measure, and moved on.
Relations work like that, too. Just when one imagines that one lives in a tract home zone with which one feels entirely familiar, a bobcat appears, and walks calmly by. The bobcat is not some metaphoric rival or
issue, but just the way of life itself. It's never just swimming ducklings and chocolate mousse'. There's always a new something--a thing to see, a thing to live and experience.
After darkness fell, the staff lit chalice-like torches.
We sat and watched for bobcats, and watched the ducklings, and spoke of how quickly the time passed. You light a torch, and it burns on for years. You see one another in its illumination, and you smile.