It is August, I am 63 years old and I can feel the season beginning to change. The dryness is more profound, but everything is beautiful. The wind rings through the playground. Small blackbirds call a chuck-chuck in the chokecherries. There are cranes in the field that has been cut, bailed, and is growing again. Sandhill crane pairs stay together, sometimes wandering apart for a time, but nearly always in proximity to each other. John and I are the same. Not everyone understands, but it is all we’ve known since we were eighteen years old and we have never desired anything else. I know a few women who have lost their longtime partners. I’ve watched them finding a new way… surviving. But I cannot fathom it. I guess it is the cost of having such a partner. I wonder what the cranes do when one of the pair dies.