It would have been a cue-the-soundtrack moment had it not been for the addition of two children- one little boy perched atop the aforementioned bronzed shoulders, and an older girl-child with her hand in mine.
I somehow knew they had to be ours. Alarming in and of itself, but aside from the children's unsolicited cameo, I was also troubled by how quickly we had apparently jumped from dating for a few months to married with children. We weren't even living in the same city and I was definitely not a serial girlfriend type. It was a bit of a stretch.
At that moment, I knew just how estranged my conscious and subconscious minds had become.
Nevertheless, it felt like some sort of epiphany. So while rational me started hyperventilating, my heart felt, well, love. It was all ok. In fact, I wanted it.
My every day life was occasionally fun, but more often, vacuous. And lonely. I was a Marketing Manager in the finance industry, and it suddenly seemed completely misguided - caring so much about the brand, frittering my salary away (and then some) on myself, creating an endless cycle of having to stay on the high paying career track to service my lifestyle debt - much like an 'own goal', really.
It took me another five years to work my way out of that particular form of entrapment.
Photo: Gunnar Holmertz via trekearth.com
We have still to enact my dream. We are both a bit ravaged by time and too often, each other. But we have the key ingredients. It's all there: Mr T and me, and not two but three young children. And then there's Mr T's conviction that he was born to speak French and Italian, as evidenced by his command of the accents and easy conversational ability. How could we not?
So we will wait for the boy-child to grow beyond the lug-him around/wrangle him stage, and then see where we land - France, Italy, Spain. And one day, perhaps, we will saunter through an idyllic village, and everything that came before will make sense for one fleeting but perfect moment in time.