Building a Partnership With Kaleesha

Living in the cabin these past 5 years I’ve gotten very good at being single and alone most of the time. I’ve not had a serious long term relationship since 2001. But I’m good at being a partner, I enjoy it greatly and find the cooperative process a very rewarding one. Connecting with someone of like mind with whom we can work and learn and share, well, isn’t that what we all look for in a relationship? The core of such a partnership, in my view, is communication.

So, here I am building a new relationship with Kaleesha. Really, we’re just getting started. We’ve been friends since January but, as I mentioned recently, that friendship took on a new direction in recent months. What I’ve found in Kaleesha is a beautiful human being that has a relentless desire to explore life in the Universe and to communicate those explorations. Now, I should probably clarify what I mean by explore. As a homesteader with a variety of animals and seven kids, she is not skipping willy nilly across the globe. Her exploration is a bit closer to home.

As I explained previously I met Kaleesha when she and her family took an interest in astronomy. I did not share that she had, in the late summer of 2012, quit the Bible and Christianity. As she puts it, she “read herself right out of it”. That got my attention. A serious Christian of many years who reasoned her way right out of religion. A person not content with faith and courageous enough to confront a lifetime of self-deception was a person I wanted to know better.

Upon her initial departure from Christianity she considered herself a deist but soon began to question that as well. As of this writing she considers herself an agnostic with atheist leanings. As she says, “I’m fairly confident that in a couple of months I’ll consider myself an atheist”. She’s currently reading Dawkins’ “The God Delusion” and Gandhi’s autobiography which brings me to her habit of constant reading which I greatly appreciate and admire. I’ve always thought that reading is the base of intelligence… Or, rather, a primary tool required if one is to have any chance of intellectual development. A lifetime of reading exclusively romance novels is not likely to lead to much in the way of personal intellectual growth. Fortunately her reading materials are substantative.

By circumstance our friendship evolved via a mix of face-to-face conversation blended with many Facebook conversations and email exchanges. These direct communications were supplemented with our explorations of one another’s blogs. From the beginning ours was a process largely based on the sharing of our written words, our ideas about the world and our experiences in it. To put it simply, it was intellectual exchange rather than emotional exchange and I think it set the foundation for what we have been developing since. I consider her one of the more interesting people I’ve met in my time on the planet.

Kaleesha is the first writer with whom I’ve been involved romantically and it was immediately obvious that her being a writer added something of great value to our relationship. I’ve not known many writers in my life but those I have known seem to share a common trait of experiencing life more fully. A more developed vocabulary and ability to use language (oral or written) seem to correlate with a generally deeper appreciation of the Universe and a curiosity about its workings.

I have greatly enjoyed her fondness for reading aloud to the kids and often as we lay in bed she will share quotes from her current read which often leads to a bit of conversation. This is a woman who loves words and the expression of ideas. She loves to dig into the current subject of her curiosity, roll it over and examine it from a variety of angles and chew on her observations. When she gets around to writing about it (as she inevitably does if it is worth writing about) she is thoughtful and deliberate in her craft. In fact, this is yet another aspect of her which I greatly appreciate and admire: her willingness to take her time and do it right. Whether she is writing for her blog (or upcoming book), making a pizza, sewing or working with the kids, she is careful to take her time, to be deliberate and mindful of the task at hand.

Partnership with Kaleesha is both a comfort and a challenge. Comfort when it is needed, say at the end of a long day or even just a general sort of comfort that comes with having a close confidant. There is the comfort that comes with her bringing me a cup of coffee or her sweet smile from across the room or the sight of her confidently rolling out a loaf of bread that will soon be in the oven. There is the challenge she puts forth by just working so hard everyday. Gone are my days of lax activity living alone in the cabin. Not to say I didn’t get done what I needed to (usually), just that it was a very relaxed life with accountability only to myself. I could get away with my laid-back day-to-day efforts. Life with Kaleesha requires that I rise to the occasion, that I put forth greater effort. Whether it is time with the kids and giving them my thoughtful attention or some chore such as moving a goat fence, there is more to do here. Kaleesha has been the primary caregiver to her seven children and it’s not left her with much time to write or to engage in other projects. My intent is to take over some of these responsibilities and general household responsibilities so that she has more time to develop herself in other areas.

Of course there is the passion that comes with real partnership. Such passion manifests in many ways. It might be shared passions such as astronomy and gardening. While viewing the stars with friends like Russ and Mark is always a very enjoyable experience and my solitary time at the scope too is very rewarding, time shared with Kaleesha at the scope adds a new flavor to the experience. Sometimes we are focused on what we are viewing, sharing in the beauty of a globular cluster or nebula, other times the experience wanders to the holding of hands, conversation or warm embrace. Spending time in the garden together is equally beautiful and greatly enriched over time spent gardening alone. Occasionally all the passions come together and blur such as the night we started observing the stars and moon in the yard. We wandered into the garden as we searched around trees and clouds for a particular patch of sky. There we enjoyed an awareness of all the elements merging; of being in our garden, surrounded by growing things as we looked to the heavens. There is no better place to be.

This post would not be complete without some mention of our daily communications which start every morning in bed. There is nothing as sweet as starting a day with a gentle conversation in bed with the person one loves. We might jump into a conversation about the day’s plans or we might mull over an event from the previous day. Sometimes we start with a bit of silliness, sometimes it is a meaningful discussion. Regardless of the start, our day is marked by consistent communication with each other and with the kids. She is very skilled and deliberate in her management of the home and much of this manifests as a sort of conversational tone of respect which makes for a very pleasant environment.

This is a partnership I will deeply enjoy.