Stuck...like a truck, muck, ruck, fuck...stuck. Not like quicksand, not like cement and not like a fly to flypaper. I am stuck like I have never been stuck. I have halted, stopped and sunk in. Grinding gears and gnashing teeth, bucking and giving it all the gas only to stop and spend long sinking periods of surveying and strategizing. I am about done sitting in this broken car trying to get it to move.
So then what? Do I walk into town? Wait for help? Hitchhike? Go back the way I came or just start over from here? And if I start over, what can I leave here and what must I carry with me? What will be important later? Is it safe? Am I able to travel alone? Imagining alone, on this road scares the hell out me.
Maybe I should just sit. My mind is not straight. Things are broken and nothing is running right. Right now, I do not think I would know what to do if I could get on the road. I should just sit and be. Wait, listen and learn and have faith that with a nudge from a hero and my own will, I could soon be unstuck and stumbling along.
Should I just sit? I should just sit. Should I?
Clean your glasses, that would be a good start....maybe brush your teeth. A long pause, fingers hover at the home-row, I sigh and get up and clean my glasses and brush my teeth.
I even changed out of my jammies, lit some candles and fetched an ice water. The day is dark. A storm is coming. I couldn't sleep last night and wander wakeful in the rain. This morning's gloom kept me lounging in bed between drowse and slumber and way past my usual get up time.
Recalling my drowsy dreams is keeping my thoughts in a jumble. I am not drinking coffee this morning as I already feel restless....and I say morning as though there is much of it left...there is not.
Having lounged in has me off, as though I have lost time. I have been feeling that lately...as though I have 'left' for awhile, to where I don't know...I just notice time has slipped. Can I be so lost in thought?
Through the open deck door I can hear the High School marching band on the field practicing. Belting out the Neil Diamond standard "Sweet Caroline." It is my daughter's boyfriend banging the drums. This is homecoming week in the wee village....big goings on...much to do...the girl is a flutter. This makes me cry. I cry big fat hot tears and wipe them by pulling my t-shirt neckline to my eyes. I'm not crying for homecoming...I'm crying because life goes on...
Sure he is here, I feel him every day. It is not the same. He is with me but I am alone. A year has passed. A year. A whole year. It is as though the shock of it all has softened and now comes the grieving part. I thought I was actively grieving, I wasn't, I was reacting to shock.
A year later not too many people ask about my well being. Honestly, answering that became so tiring. My well being has taken on new meanings that I am still discovering. Somedays that discovery is moment by moment. It is a heady time. A scary time. A lonely time. And there still is so much sorrow. Tears come easy and often and for things that once never required them.
This alleged approaching storm is teasing me. The sky darkens to shadows and stillness and then seems stand still....I know there is thunder coming for the pup has taken shelter huddled next to the bathtub. I don't know why but I am eager for the storm.
I could do this whole metaphor of blah, blah blah dark clouds, blah grief, blahblahblah...but even I am sick of my metaphors. Self-soothing grows tiresome. Or maybe I suck at it...which would mean that I can't even make myself feel better...no, that's not true...I can...I just am tired of my own kindness. I mean seriously sometimes I can only take so much me.
It's not that I don't want to be nice to me it's more like is this all there is. Doing things so I feel better. Yes I feel better giving back and yes it is good to those you give....and yes being nice to me is nice but still is there something beyond that?
I can get caught up in wondering what should I say and what should I keep. What would it accomplish to tell someone they have hurt, broken or betrayed, you? People will never want to hear or believe that they have hurt or caused pain. They will rationalize that twenty ways to Tuesday. The energy required for accusation is best used to understand how you can forgive.
Still...I lose my temper. In traffic mostly, now. I wonder if some of my restlessness is pent up anger. I feel angry, mad at the unfairness of it all. I don't really vent that anger because it seems ridiculous to me...like to where would I vent such anger and anger brought forth for the purpose of venting is silly...isn't it?
I did recently have an incident in traffic and of all places, the wee village....road rage...me and the other driver...scared my daughter and scared me and made me embarrassed. I apologized to my daughter. Made me wonder if one day I'll just blow cuckoo.
This year has been managed with bouts of piteous slothery and brisk bouts of industry. I seem to whirl into a fury of taking care of business only to fall prey to procrastination until the next bout of production. Tis the damnedest way to live. I worry that it will become habitual. I am deplorable with self discipline.
I wonder who I shall be in ten years.
I am blue today. I was blue last night. An undetermined blue. A blue that is waiting for a storm.
(not bad storm nor a metaphoric storm, just a storm to pass the day and soften my soul:)
Tis a sad day, in my heart and mind and as if to join me the weather has turned sullen and gray. The wind arrives harshly from the north bringing the forgotten chill.
Around the house, I have lit shrines and candles to bring forth the light, to remember those who have gone and for those who remain. The tiny soul flickers of flames comfort me and lend softness to grayness.
Tears come easy and with purpose on days such as these. Reading over something I had written last year prompted me to take from their sacred place our wedding bands and I wore them for awhile this morning. I missed that ring on my finger and my finger missed the ring as well, for it felt good there. The two, his and mine, together make a gentle metal ting that pleases me to hear. I thought about wearing them again, I thought it might be comforting. Then without thought I stood up from the kitchen table, from my coffee and the empty chair across from me and put the two bands of gold back into their sacred place.
I took my steaming cup and went out on the deck and lit a cigarette, inhaled deeply and surveyed the state of my lawn....haggard and ignored. As I pulled my deck shawl closer around me a wise and sharp north gust slapped into me and awoke a chilling truth. I am depressed. Grief has morphed and mingled and spawned this unfamiliar version of a familiar void. I am haggard and I have been ignoring everything.
The lawn, the water softener, the furnace filter, not pressing the painter to begin, the stack of paperwork, a still not completely unpacked suitcase and a million other things....yeah, I'm here, but when did I arrive, why am I ignoring everything and how am going to get out of this?
I know I can do the leg work, force my attention back to task, muscle my way through, I have before and I will do it again. When? Hopefully soon.
But then what?
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Empty the mind.
Chrome platform shoes eyebrow threading earrings hose mall
My brother has broke with reality.
Try to get nursing home admin to return my call.
Pay daughter's traffic ticket
Why hasn't my son returned my call?
Clear the kitchen table of paper by doing paperwork.
Your old man is dying.
get low cal girly nibbles for prom day hair make up drama
I wanna run away from home. Really badly.
Am I getting things done?
Do I suck at all this?
How is it I am functioning?
I really don't wanna shop for prom shoes. Really don't.
Mother's Day gathering.
I can't pull this off.
my head hurts, make it stop, please.
church bells wind chimes nice
Dinner out tonight, yeah.
I will feel 20% better if I clear the paper work. That is a good thing. So I should do that.
Shower. Long hot shower. Another 20% better. 40% total better, hey I ain't gonna get mo bettah than that....That will be a good thing. So I should do that too.
Drink more water.
And for christ sake eat something...food's your thing eat it
I wish you were here God knows how much...
Dad is dying.
Mother doesn't know.
brother lost his mind
have to sell the family home.
can't call home no one lives there no one will answer....it's over.
Chrome Platform Prom Shoes, where on God's green acre do you find those?
I feel him. Is it his energy still strong inside me that propels these intense encounters or does he come to me from some unknown place? Will this always happen or is it just for a short time? Many times we talked about he kindly haunting me and I can't help but think that he is. I miss his physical presence with an agonizing desire that is unquenchable. I want him here, healthy and full of life. I want a do-over. If sheer will could make that happen... My heart aches, my body aches, every piece of my flesh aches in an ungodly, indescribable manner; I feel I shall go mad with this pain. I crave relief but have no idea where to seek such relief or if it even exists.
There are stages to this process. I have been in shock. The first week was a numbing, surreal shock. The days leading up to the memorial were lost to a shocked panic. The memorial itself was a blur of fuzzy shock laced with comfort and kindness, hospitality and a uncomfortable form of relief at it's end. Since, I seem to wander in and out of disbelieving and believing. Time still functions as an abstract concept. Hours are lost staring at black and white movies not knowing the plot, vast buckets of time are dumped away full of scattered thought, yet I do accomplish what needs to be done and I am continually surprised by that. I couldn't begin to explain how it is that I am functioning.
I walk the little dog each morning, the same route that he once took, I find comfort on that path. We talk, I cry a little, he reaches out to me. I find white feathers strew across my path and I thank him for the messages. I come home and make the coffee that he once made and play the 'dirty fish' game that he and the little dog once played. It all seems an act to me, a scene in a play, a sc
Another day looms ahead of me. Sitting here in front of the coffee table, typing this, sipping my morning coffee, the little dog resting his head on my shin, music softly playing...he should be there, sitting with his coffee, offering commentary to the days current events. He isn't there, he will never be there. I am here, alone, feeling him with only stages to go through.
This Wednesday will mark the 12th anniversary of the Twin Tower attack and one month since my husband lost his battle with cancer. Did it happen twenty minutes ago or two million years ago? Grief warps time, it bends realities and changes everything, forever.
I spent the entire day writing out thank-you cards, each with a personal note, each with a piece of my heart. I have been dreading this dreadful task. I am filled with gratitude at the amazing kindness and comfort extended to my family and I yet each note I write is a crushing reminder of a reality I can not fully accept.
Every mundane act of living feels like a betrayal, a smudge to his memory, a slap to his long suffering, a flat out refusal to mourn his passing. It's hard to move when forward translate into leaving behind his unfilled wishes and dreams.
A month has passed. I have a vague notion of what has transpired these last thirty days but none of it can be real. Shock gives way to grief, grief lurks beside despair and despair unmasks a cold steely loneliness and the whole day revolves around this cycle of sorrow and suspended reality. I move through this sticky blackness with a remote sense of purpose but I really have none. I accomplish what needs to be done but I don't know how. I work my body with exercise and labor but it never grows weary enough for sleep. I cry a lot, my tears come unexpectedly in short intense bursts which I wipe away quickly as if to stop the reason for them.
Moments after he left, with his hand still in mine, I slipped his wedding band off and slid it underneath mine. Together they clink and ting and I receive a small scrap of contentment from the sound they make as I move through my day. While shoring up for his eventual passing, which we both knew was apparent but neither wanted to truly believe, I read dozens of articles regarding death and loss. One in particular, written by a Pastor who lost his wife to Parkinson's, sticks with me. Upon her death he removed his wedding band, never to wear it again. His reasoning was his wedding vows, which stated, "Until death do us part." as a Pastor and a man he felt her death left him, in the eyes of the church and to the world, unmarried, which is technically correct but emotionally not so simple; I found his act and his reasoning to be rather harsh and compassionless but understood his need to make sense of his place in the world. After reading his story, months ago, I wondered then, when I would remove my wedding band and consider myself unmarried. It is now, after this first month, that I find myself pondering that thought several times during the long days. Each time I think of it I become uncomfortable and irritated at the notion of making any big deal out of it, yet it is a big deal to me, it's a huge deal. For now, I will continue to wear them and take the morsel of comfort the clink and ting make as they slide together but I know the time will soon arrive that in order for me to move forward I will need to remove them and put them away. The thought of no longer wearing them makes me feel sad. I liked being a Sadie, a married lady. For me, the ring told the world that I was loved and that I was part of something.
In this hot August heat I wear the memory of his illness like a heavy wool coat. From his initial diagnosis, to being told he might have a week, to his leaving; the last two years run a constant reel overlap to all the other memory flashes ping-ponging around my rattled mind.
My intellect battles my emotions. My emotions battle my intellect. Days dissolve into night and time has no meaning or purpose.
I long for a softening to this sharpness. I ache for answers. I am sick with sorrow.
EVERYWHERE I turn I am blindsided by memories, so brilliantly vivid they hurt to see and sting to feel.
Not all memories are good memories and regret runs like a rusty knife through my beleaguered heart. Why did we battle so often? Fear. But what were we afraid of? Why was he always so mad? Why couldn't he get past his past? Why wouldn't he try? Why didn't I work harder and better to guide him to a place of peace? Why did it anger me so that he couldn't get there? Fear. Fear? Why do we let fear take the wheel?
Why? So many questions left for one to answer. So many answers left for one to question. So much for just one heart and one mind to resolve.
My expectations have halted. I know not what to expect, from others, from myself, from the future or the past. I am standing still as a statue while the world whirls at break-neck speed.
I feel a loneliness too enormous to define, too vast to swallow, too profound to explore and so looming and consuming it refuses to be ignored. I feel the loneliness will devour me before I find a safe haven to shelter me.
All that I am quakes at the thought of my children's suffering. I reserve my love, strength and compassion for them. I suspend my own sorrow to burden theirs. I will move heaven and earth for their peace and comfort. I will do all that I have ever done and more because I remain their mother despite our loss. This family will remain this family; not as a tribute to their father but because of him and because of me and because we were once an us who created the we.
When I look for him I need go no further than their eyes to find a rag of comfort or a scrap of reason and each day that will grow and will eventually grow (grand-babies) into a soft quilt I can wrap myself in.
Anger. Sorrow. Tears. Loneliness. Heartache. Fear. Worry. Resentment. Panic. Ugliness and horror. Bitter and sweet. Change. Uncertainty. Hope. Courage. Strength. Faith. Belief.
At nine thirty this morning my husband died. He lost his two year battle with cancer. He fought the good fight like a champ. The last few days he has spent with one foot in this world and one foot in other. His last night was fretful. Around dinner time I called the Hospice nurse; she examined him and told me he could last in his condition for perhaps another week. I knew he was dying. I know he knew he was dying. The night was fretful. I worked diligently and gently to keep him dry and comfortable.
When the time came it came like I though death would come; fast, in your face and without mercy. I sat next to our bed with his hand in mine and our faces close together. He struggled violently for a few moments, I held him to me. I spoke to him gently. His breathing was choppy and then it ceased and he had left.
I suck it up and make the call. Palliative care for my mother. It's time. I no longer can be there at the drop of a dime and my dad clearly has had enough whether he fully realizes it or not. I don't want to do this but I really have no choice. It is time. This breaks my heart and my vow to my mother but I know this is right time and the right thing to do.
I call the hospital back home and I am directed to a woman named Beth. I explain my parents situation, my situation and through it all I try not to cry. Beth is very kind. Very. She takes her time with me and she lets me vent. She asks me questions about my mother. This is difficult for me as I feel I am betraying my mother; she was/is an extremely private person, my mother, and the information I am imparting to Beth is terribly personal. I know this is Beth's profession and she has seen it all before....still, it is hard for me to 'rat out' my mom and I am being very cautious in what I say. My mom, with all her faculties in place is a hard, hard woman and no one to mess with. God, don't I know it?!! My mom use to be a real bitch on wheels and she didn't care much whose feelings she might roll over.
Beth didn't ask my name or my parents names right away and for that I was glad...I wanted to ease in to the betrayal.
HERE COMES THE WTF PART
In a small town it is not uncommon to know of people without really knowing them so the odds were fairly good that Beth would know of my parents. When I gave Beth their names she immediately asked for help in spelling my dad's name and then she paused, I assumed she didn't hear my mother's name so I said her name again and Beth replied using my mom's first name and her maiden name and then my mom's brother's name....to which I was like, yeah? Beth explained she was my Uncle's case worker. Beth then blathers on and on about how "difficult" he was and that once he threw a phone at her head but at the end she was with him and he became soft and gentle and to this day out off all her 'people' my uncle remains a soft spot in her heart. Dick was a whack job...a fucking whack job. Everyone in the family knew he was nuts. He did unspeakable things to me as a little girl and threatened me with his insanity which kept me from breathing a word of the horror to anyone. Beth talking about him so lovingly is literally making me sick. I tell Beth I think him an awful man and I always will. I don't want to hurt her feelings since she found a different side to him. I forgave him years ago. I told her despite my feelings I was genuinely happy he found peace at the end, that we all deserve that...and I meant what I said.
ALSO...she knows my mother first hand and it was easy to tell she didn't have a good experience with my mother, which doesn't surprise me in the least. (although as always when people don't care for my mom I feel badly) I have a clear memory of the "uncle dick on the county' fiasco. I was in my late twenties still 'hating' my mom and having her call and rag and bitch about the damn social worker. Which come to find out today is Beth, the woman I am hoping will eventually help me help my mother. Is this all not WTF?
I had to get this out. There is no one left to talk to so this is my release. And I feel better putting it down. I can make sense of out what seemed so random yet not random at all.
I was going to ask, why Beth, the uncle dick thing and her knowing my mom as a bitch....with all that is happening why is the universe dragging up old wounds when the new wounds are enough?
And here is my answer.
the uncle dick thing...i was ready to know he died at peace. his life wasn't easy...my grandpa, i think, beat him senseless. dick was insanely violent...for peace to come to him near his death is comforting to know.
the mom/bitch thing....well, she was who she was, she behaved the way she behaved...i can't change that nor can I continue to feel so sorry for people not liking her. She too had a tough life and she dealt with it by being hard and unpushable.
It is the struggle more than the slide that builds who we are...what happens is not for the choosing our reaction and response is the choice and everyday we make a choice...every moment is a choice. I could choose for this to all mean something deeply mystical but I choose to believe it is simply small town life with a slice of the divine offering me a needed message and a small pat upon the head.
And I shouldn't feel guilty taking the time to sort this out instead of mowing the lawn ....while my husband lays with a fever and low counts, my mother in dire need of a bath, my dad cracking another bud lite and all the other bullshit. Right? Right.
I will get the lawn mowed, it needed to dry out anyway...his counts will go up and the fever will go down, my mom will get her bath tomorrow instead and my dad, well it's cocktail hour somewhere:)
I want answers to questions I don't know how to ask.
Again I can't sleep. It is raining. I open a window and wind blows the rain in. I lay a towel on the sill and keep it open. I want to hear the rain and feel the breeze. Tiny, random speckles of rain pelt the foot I have dangling from the side of the bed and the wind puffs the curtain like a plume as the eave gushes a torrent, such bluster for such an average spring shower. I appreciate the effort on natures part to attempt to produce for me a storm but I am more than grateful for the soft shower to keep me company on this, yet another, sleepless night.
And a good shower can keep you company. Since the little dog at the foot of this bed is apparently off duty it is the shower and I that shall converse and stew the woe at hand.
The woe is not new and the shower and I will not solve anything. I don't know of any solution. I don't have any clue how to make anything better. I have no understanding of why things happen, they just do. It all hurts more than I imagined. I know it will get far worst before it will get better...and that scares me. It all scares me, really.
I wish I could sleep like the little dog at the foot of the bed. He sleeps as he does because he feels that he is loved and he sees that he is cared for. He is a lucky little dog.
Do suppose one day this will all make sense to me? Will I understand why all this had to happen at once and why in the middle of it all the rug had to be pulled out from beneath me? Why the lesson now? What did that awful brand of hurt need to teach me? How does love stop and why don't I know how to stop it?
All I really know for sure is that I NEVER want to go through any of this again.
I can't help but think about the future. I feel guilty about doing it but I need a plan. I need that security of have some sort of plan in place. I have a fountain of ideas but each one brings with it sorrow and guilt. How can I plan?
I wonder about love and will it find me in time. So many hits and misses. Will I have a real chance at what I am looking for? And too I wonder if maybe for me the grand passion love was not the love I was intended for. To stand so close to something of such great value to you and then have the treasure robbed by the unlikely thief is an emotional game changer. I see with different eyes a place where beauty never was. You loose a little of yourself in those shadow places.
I question too much. I just have to accept what is. I am doing the best that I can. Even I know this is way too much for one person. I'm scared. I've never been this alone. I'll get through but I don't know how.
Damn it! I wish I could sleep.
Do you think the cure for Cancer and Alzheimer's was lost in the deforestation of the rain-forests?
What is out there beyond what we think we know?
How does on visualize nothing?
I wonder if I have herniated a disk or is that just stress that's killing my neck?
My puppy is so cutely huggable, I am grateful for his sleeping company.
The shower has passed. I should try to sleep. Tears will come before sleep as they lately always do.
Good night, me.
Driving home from a hospital stay my spouse told me he wishes it was me who had cancer. I was talking about what I could make for dinner....this was his answer.
I get it. I do. Cancer is wicked.
That hurt. A lot.
I have to get this off my chest.
My father calls me at least six times a day; most of the time in some conjured panic fueled by several Bud Lites. This morning it was about their taxes. We have discussed this topic in length on several occasions since last Friday. My father has this whine/weepy voice he uses when he needs to convey his needs/demands. It is oppressively passive aggressive and drives me to the brink...so much so I had buried (the voice) deep in my sub-conscience only to have to re-face it now. With my adult eyes I see that voice for what it is. Still, my father sounding this way is ( I struggle to find exactly how I feel about his behavior) disappointing and that is hard to feel about your dad, but it is what it is. He is just a man. My dad is an alcoholic. He has been my whole life. I love my dad very much, he is a good man. I didn't recognize my father as an alcoholic until two years ago. My children knew but I wouldn't see it. I had always put my father on a pedestal because that is how I wanted him to be. I was his favorite because of that. I stood up for him and I still am standing up for him.
I care for my dad and mom. My mom suffers from Alzheimer's, she is nearing the end. They refuse, sometimes violently to leave their home. So for years I have been driving two hours once or twice a week to tend to their needs. I feel I am doing the best that I can for them. I know they should be in a home but I am respecting and honoring their wishes.
My father is a golfer. He likes the game and adores the clubhouse. Last year his long time golf partner died of a heart attack on the 18th hole, my father was unable to revive him. I was on my way to their house when it happened...I went with my father to tell his partners wife. These are people I have known all my life and my parents have known all of theirs. Dad's buddy passing left my father as literally the last man standing among his contemporaries. The whole incident was very sad and is still difficult for my dad. He drinks more because of it. I have been encouraging my dad to golf again. All winter he said he didn't think he would. The kindness of living your whole life in the wee little town in which you were born, allows you wonderful luxuries, one of which being that someone from the golf course has called my father inviting him to golf with several men that have volunteered to partner up with him. My dad is considering it.
This brings me to the meat of my vent. The phone call from my dad this morning came in while I was talking to my husband, who I took to the ER Saturday and still remains in the hospital. My husband has cancer...end stage...everything is being done...we pray and remain extremely hopeful. My dad knows I have Skippy on hold, my dad also knows I took Skippy to the hospital Saturday, still he continues with his whine...see he knows I will be there tomorrow and I will take care of everything...taxes are the pretense, the real reason, which requires him to carry on like a spoiled child is...he needs to know if he can say he will golf this summer...he needs to know RIGHT NOW! My dad wants me to commit right this minute to being able to be there every Thursday to care for my mom and to take him and pick him up from the course. I have told my dad that I am getting someone to come in for mom while he golfs and the course staff will see to it he gets there and home. THIS IS NOT WHAT MY FATHER WANTS!! He wants me to be there...I tell him with Skippy sick I just can't commit to any certain day. And then my dad, my father, says to me..."Are you lying to me? You told me Skippy was gonna die. By this summer he should be gone and you should be here with me and your mother, taking proper care of us.......
I said something...I'm not sure what...and I hung up. Fucker. Fucking shit. Damn.
Awake when I should be sleeping.
Light snow falls
Furnace, fridge, humidifier hum
Tired body paces,wanders,searches
hopes, wills and stays
Captive choked moans roll
sad little tears
Looking to the sky
asking for reason
hoping for rescue
Wishing for yesterday
where someday lived
Dark is the night
where sadness stews
Lonely is the dark
where love once grew
It is my time to fall in love. A long, long over do romance with me. I have neglected myself for far too many seasons. I love me I just haven't been terribly thoughtful or tenderly kind to myself.
I like my time alone. Some days there is not enough of it and other days there is too much of it.
I fear my near future will have plenty months, perhaps seasons of alone. Like any impending drought I am savoring the moments of plenty to sustain me during the lean.
I wonder where me will take me?
I have not written here in a long while. It feels almost comforting to put words back here. It also feels lonely here but I think that is what I need...a wee spot of lonely where I can chew and digest the past year and fortify myself for what is yet to come.
I spent the entire summer purging stuff. Items I once deemed keepsakes found their way into the arms of other kindred gathers. It wasn't easy but it was easier than I thought it would be. When things come easier than you thought you find yourself more brazen, more courageous and change becomes the sought after keepsake.
Waiting for change is like standing out at that lonely four corners bus stop, staring down an empty highway waiting for the forever gone Greyhound to whisk you to freedom. Somehow that quick ticket to ride to the better place only takes you in one large life sucking roundabout of been there done that.
Knowing that change is all around you does not prepare you for how that change will move and vibrate the Source inside you. The best change comes when you have been still with your soul and allow yourself to really hear the message. The message is the Divine speaking directly from you to you. A most sacred event. This gift comes when we truly learn to stop racing ego forward and sit in peace with the Is inside.
I think this change is the change we search for. The connection we scurry to make is already there waiting for us to be still and to listen.
to be continued.....
For over a dozen years, I have traveled the road from the Wee Village to the City and back again. The homestretch is dotted with farms and fields. Standing alone is a gray, crumbling, once clearly productive farmstead. It remains today as a tobacco spit of jumbled, tumbled buildings, a barn, a silo and a declining yet admirable farmhouse that was once carefully built in front of scant, see-through woods. This long ago thriving home and business is now tattered and worn existing as an island in a sea of tilled earth. It has been sad to watch this dear piece of living ravaged by time.
This Monday morning as I drove past one could not help but notice the old place engulfed in angry orange flames with bight yellow earthmovers at the ready to bury any last trace of the life that was once was shiny and full of industry.
The same dozen years has taken a similar insidious toll on my own Mother. Yesterday, this admirable, once thriving woman lost who her daughter was, lost her as if she never was. This tiny, frail, gray, woman, unknowingly adored exists as an island in a sea of forgotten memories. It is sad watching her slowly leave. My heart breaks for her.
As these last few days of summer slip gracefully by, I have already welcomed, encouraged and shaken the hand of fall. Thus far, the transition has been sublime. The seemingly seamless baton pass of seasons leaves me with little remorse for beginnings or endings but instead fills me with a much-needed sense of calm and a wee bit of resolve.
September arrived to drink empty the oppressive ripeness of August and for a few remarkable weeks I watched what was lush and green become beige and crunchy. There can be so much green in a season of such intense growing that you feel it may just swallow you up. The lustful, passionate, reach for the sky growth became too heady and claustrophobic and as fall tenderly devours the robust green, the sky has begun to open, the passion subsides and I can once again see the horizon.
With the beige comes the harvest, the time I reap what I have sown. It is also my time for personal reflection and clarification. A time for gathering what I need to nourish my body, mind and soul. It is my hope that for my mindful labors, I might be rewarded with wisdom, bounty, October’s brilliant wash of stain glassed color and pure contentment as my warm fire for winter hibernation.
Time moves forward and like it or not I move right along with it. Just as the free spirited hobo riding the rails, I catch only the rides I am supposed to take, there are no missed trains only long forgotten journeys.
The lobby for spending Sunday at the beach began on Monday. My little pea-pod in her very clever way, introduced the beach idea as “Wouldn’t it be great if the weather on Sunday was perfect for going to the beach?” By Tuesday the question was a statement and by Friday it was a fact. Come Sunday I was awakened by an over anxious pea-pod asking if I would like her to make coffee. (She’s good.)*wink*
The game plan was to hit the road by eight and head for the big lake to spend a fun filled day of sun and surf. Since it was already after eight I had the excuse to rethink the direction of our excursion. Don’t get me wrong the big lake would have been amazing, so much so that I held a wee fear that the big blue would take me too far away from the day.
With that thought I suggested a closer destination with breathtaking scenery…a place my soul knows very well.
Not wanting to hit the beach as contractors we packed very little for the day. We hit the road dressed in our suits and cover-ups. Curled up on the front seat of the truck, legs tucked underneath me with a stout cup of hot coffee I felt like I was sitting on a BARCO lounger with the beauty of nature clipping by me as a grand parade. The moment was perfect.
Upon approaching the state park we realized we were not the only family that had thought today would be a great day for the beach. North beach was already full so we pressed on to South beach. Having purchased a park sticker earlier in the year caused our line to creep faster than the lines of day passes and sticker buyers. We were lucky to find a shady spot to park the truck that came with a very short jaunt to the beach. The place was packed. Life bursting and bubbling as far as the eye could see. We seized a good size patch of unoccupied sand and set up our base.
Not only is this park a locale favorite, it is a destination for people from all over the world. The cultural diversity mingled with the amazing surroundings is why this is my favorite beach. Laying there I heard four different conversations spoken in four different languages. Everyone was cooking, eating or drinking and the smells that wafted through the trees were tantalizing and heady. In this place I felt a million miles away from everything I know and at the same time so close to everything I hold dear.
My daughter and I filled a bucket of carefully collected rocks all of clearly remarkable standards. We floated lazily on our backs and told each other what we saw in the clouds. As is pea-pod’s way she began asking me a million questions, not all of which I could answer. In an effort to return to the mellow cloud gazing I suggested to her that too many answers will leave her with nothing to discover.
Drying off on the beach, under the constant yellow orb we all silently observe man and nature in our own quiet ways. With chatter and movement all around everything remains washed in a tranquil veneer. Wet to dry, dry to hot, hot to lazy…a long day at the beach is like that. It feels good to the skin and to the soul to reach a heated pitch and find resplendent refreshment mere footsteps away. Simple, pure contentment often is so elusive in our daily lives yet so easy to come by when spending your day at the beach.
Upon reaching my heated pitch I announced to the family “That I was going in to swim as far out as I could.” Having heard no ob
There in the middle of that astounding lake, with the water lapping at my languid, bobbing body and my breathing echoing through me and out of me into the gentle liquid I found myself asking the big questions of heaven and earth. The response I received through depths of the ancient lake and from the peaks of the jagged cliffs is the answer I gave. “Too many answers will leave you with nothing left to discover.”
Letting that nugget soak into me like the lake into my hair I felt cleansed, resplendently refreshed and restored.
The swim back to shore was a breeze.
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