I can feel it coming.
As I read more of a thoughtful book about this messy business of living, I wanted to crawl on to my floor and curl into a ball.
I tried, but the crawling into a ball became a creaky morning downward dog and then child’s pose.
The sorrow in my heart weighed so heavily that I rolled into it and faced the windows.
Before the windows, two boxes of summer flowers and herbs – geranium magentas, marigold yellows, wandering Jew and lavender-herb purples, basil and peppermint greens, – were backlit in their stretching towards the wintry sun.
Those window boxes – full of color and fragrance – are inherently hopeful.
I hope that they continue to flower. I hope that the fragrance of basil, lavender, and peppermint lasts throughout the blowy bitter winter. I hope that what has been unceremoniously transplanted will flourish…here.
This week, I’ll transplant the struggling rosemary and a few more still living flower bits. Two of the giant pots of growing things are still…growing things. Even after the hard freezes we’ve had, they still flower.
The feisty lantana has receded.
The “idiot-proof” tomato plants in the window box struggled all summer, producing two feeble fruit.
Those afterthought begonia thingies – oh boy!
I’m becoming a fan of the less flashy annuals and perennials in favor of the hardier and scrappier growth that will come inside and overwinter with me.
From where I now sit, I see the AC unit that needs to be stored in the bat cave (the crawl space where the bats have played this year.) A wee bit of north wind blows through the vent. I’ll need help with that.
I see the boxes of photos and files – half-sorted – waiting to be sealed into a book or discarded.
I can feel the quiet desperation of needing to be busy right now.
November 24 trundles towards the door; an anniversary of sorts of what could have been a beautiful beginning which became instead an opening of Pandora’s box of brutal secrets.
December 3 follows closely. Last year on that day, I learned memory can sneak in and become physically present.
next week I’ll travel to Tulsa to kibbutz and sit around the table with kids+1+pup: Madi + Zach, Kenan, and Izzy-the-wonder-dog. We will celebrate Kenan’s birthday and this day will bear its own honor. We’ll be together.
Thanksgiving and then Christmas will bookend the infamous with the holy.
Only two years.
One year having returned to the Flint Hills.
A second year of starting anew.
Last week, in that space between sleep and awake, I dreamt of a cocoon hanging from a sunny branch in a high tree at the top of what looked to be a wine-country valley. Morning sun was just bending across a far-off peak and warming the “tent.” I could see the cocoon flutter and the beginnings of the outer skin tearing.
It was a comforting, terrifying, hopeful, and curious dream to carry with me through the day. That same day, I stumbled across my name on a plaque in a building on campus I have not visited since 1990. I had no idea the marker existed. I was just trying to find my way through memory and place when I found it.
Timing of the dream and the stumbling upon and inevitable remembering has me wondering, “Could all of this be the growing and knitting of a life just beginning to emerge?”
Perhaps, like you, I will fly away on the strength of the unseen wind and fragile wings.
And the days will just be that – days – and not fumbling lolling about in death’s waiting room.