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Ironic that it was Anetho Dawnpride who prompted me to first bestow the name.  I am generally not much one for pet names and sobriquets outside of the common ‘dear’ or ‘darling’, and Westel had just recently told me that he disliked being named my lover while I was married to another, so when Anetho demanded to know who Westel was to me, I responded with the first thing that came to my lips: my truest friend, my staunchest companion, my faithful West Wind.

…come to think of it, Westel broke Anetho’s nose that day too.

Folklore holds that the west wind is mildest and most favorable of the cardinal winds, and this immediately makes it a curious if not entirely inappropriate choice for my husband.  Without doubt he is stubborn, opinionated, with a vicious brooding scowl for the world at large –these are not traits most would describe as gentle.  But with me he is kind, patient and understanding; with our daughters he is gentle, and his warm crinkling smile is infectious.  And he is patient, and he is steadfast, and he does nothing by half-measures.  When he loves, he does so fully, and that fire inside him drives him to protect what he loves fiercely.  The west wind is associated with spring and flowers – one of Westel’s first gifts to me was not merely a bouquet, but an entire garden he still tends with loving devotion.

Westel and I have argued worse exactly once – and that was less of an argument and more of a hateful screaming match.  It ended in us parting company for a torturous few weeks before fate tumbled us back together and we agreed that we did not wish to be parted again.  Ever since then we’ve committed to trying to work things through by talking about them – and to prevent problems from occurring by talking about them before they begin.  Honesty, forthrightness and communication… such simple concepts.

But it was all simpler then.  I could easily tell Westel what I thought without fear of losing him… because I didn’t truly have him, or he me.  But sometime around the time he put this ring on my finger, I became acutely aware that I did have him and I could lose him – him, and everything he has come to represent to me.  Somehow it was easier for me to accept the idea of losing Westel as inevitable than it was to accept the idea that if I lost him it would be solely and completely my own damn fault.

I nearly lost him these last few weeks, I think… and it would, indeed, have been completely my own damn fault.

Fortunately for me, he is neither a doormat nor unforgiving.  And I am willing to own my mistakes and endeavor not to repeat them.  We argued, we shouted at each other – he went for his boots when I broke down crying – but ultimately we reaffirmed that he loves me, and I him, and we’re not going to be broken apart by demons or doubts or pride or insecurity.  We got ourselves put together in time for Westel’s trial, even, which is another wholly frustrating story.  Not wholly mended, perhaps; there is yet work to be done.  But we have fought too hard for each other to give up so easily.

I still don’t truly know what I am doing.  But I will keep fumbling along the best I can.  And every time the west wind breezes through my door, wild and untameable, smelling of spring and earth and flowers, I will be grateful for the warmth he brings to my life.

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