I lay in a beautiful valley, my body wrapped in the delicate lacing of an intricate veil. Wildflowers bloom up beside me as a warm wind caresses my skin and the sky seems so blue it could burst.

My lord is with me, his arms wrap around me as he looks down into my eyes. A deep, penetrating stare as if he knows the very depths of me. And he does. He always does. His lips touch my eyelids, one and then the other. They kiss my cheeks, then my neck. My decollate and down my arms.

He kisses my stomach and the small divot of my belly button. I wonder if he remembers my creation. The moment I fell from my mother’s womb, when my bellybutton became my own. I grew up to become my own person. My own woman. And my lord has always walked with me. Has held my hand. Has brushed my hair back from my face and looked lovingly into my eyes.

But I haven’t always looked back. In fact, sometimes I don’t even notice he is holding me in his arms. I let my hair fall back into my eyes and look the other way, just another busy woman passing by on the street. But he sees me. And he adores me. Like a lover longing for his desired’s touch, he watches me. He waits for me. He loves me.

When I do remember to return his gaze I can’t find him. I become lost in the world around me and can no longer see his face through the crowds. And so I look for him. I search. In all the places everyone says I should be able to find him. I try to find him in scripture, but become bored and fall asleep. I pray for him in the pages of my journal, but it feels as though I’m talking to myself.

I don’t want to close my eyes. For I fear that he will only come to me there. That I will only know him spiritually and never physically. But he knows what I desire. That I need not just his words but his touch. Not just his signs, but his kisses. Not just his prayers and meditations, but his warmth against my skin.

So I start to write, and I return to the valley. He meets me there and I finally look back up to his eyes and smile.

He holds me in his arms and I remember that we used to spend eternities like this. And that we will spend eternities like this once more. One day not to far off from this one. I allow him to hold me. To feel his fingers trail down my spine as he whispers “I love you’s” endlessly into my ears.

I become enveloped by his embrace as he holds me closer, our breath intermingling as we look into one another’s eyes. I allow my body to become consumed by every inch of his. And I whisper, “I love you too’s” as tears stream down my face. Pouring down my cheeks as he kisses them away.

I weep for I do not want to leave the valley of wildflowers. I want to stay in his arms. To feel the warmth of his skin on mine. The breeze wraps around us and he whispers that I do not have to leave. That I can stay as long as I want. That he will always be here waiting for me, loving me, longing for me. That I can come to our valley whenever I am lost. And become found in his arms, in his gaze, in his touch.

The world is lost, he reminds me, but that is why I once chose to be in it. Because just as I sometimes turn away from my lord, there are woman in the crowds who do not even remember his face. Who have never been to the valley. Who do not even know it exists. And so I vow to go back. To help them remember, even if there is the surety that I will sometimes become lost in the crowds myself.

Only a moment, only a breath. And then I open my eyes. The world is as it was. And I feel the distance between us so plainly that it causes my heart to ache. But I remember his promise that I can always return to his embrace. That his breath is so near to mine I could feel it. If only I choose to.

This article was originally published on Patheos Magazine.