Monthly Archives: May 2016

my summer house

Genevieve's Window by Lucy Hunnicutt

Genevieve’s Window by Lucy Hunnicutt

I am in my summer house now, now that May is almost gone. The blinds are open just like always but now, in this summer house, the light comes in at a different slant and dances over my paintings and our harvest table with more enthusiasm and delight. The yard in summer speaks a different language also. The birds have returned from their long journey across the Gulf of Mexico and they reconnect to one another with loud and boisterous sounds when the heat is at its highest in the middle of the day and in the morning, they exchange gentle chirps and melodies that wake me. At night, in the summer yard, there are tree frogs sounding away their thoughts and needs throughout the dusk and are silenced only by the distant howling of coyotes and the nearby rustling of raccoons in limbs all looking keenly for food. I haven’t heard the cicadas, the ice cream truck or the mosquito truck yet, those sounds will wait and come deeper in summer. For now, I will enjoy the delicate light through my keeping room window in the late afternoon, pick blackberries in the early morning beating the birds and the heat, cut early blooming zinnias to put in Elizabeth’s clay pots and enjoy these effervescent moments in my summer house.

This summer will be my 62nd summer of this life. I reflect about how much I have seen and how little I  know. I think of the lives before me and how they accumulated knowledge and passed it on and I wonder how we don’t know everything by now, why don’t we learn, why don’t we listen?

It really all stays the same, we really are no different than those who lived before, only the costumes and props have changed. As I write this, I think, maybe this is how it should be, maybe we all have to take the same journey again and again, maybe that’s life. If so, perhaps we should just enjoy this gift and not look so intensely for the answers, for even if they are found, many times we don’t learn.

Many of the answers we need have been discovered anyway. We all know that love is the most important and beneficial emotion we have and yet we still witness hate each day of our lives, we all know that money cannot buy lasting happiness yet we all watch and sometimes partake in the intense and sometimes corrupt pursuit of it, we know that wars do not bring about peace but we still fight, we know that we all are fighting the same battles yet we still hurt and humiliate each other, we all know that overeating makes us fat yet we are the weightiest ever, and we know that children need love and guidance but so many are denied either. It seems we should be so shrewd by now, we should have life figured out by now.

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making honey…

I think these thoughts as I approach 62 and , like you, scratch my head and try to understand but, like all that have come before, I will not fully know why. So, I write about the honeybees that I watch each day and find solace in their routine and their predictable pattern that they have followed forever. I find joy discovering the first dragonfly of summer and the discovery of bluebirds in the handmade box that faces the field and I wait for the full moon every 28 nights, for these things are real and these things show me that life is a continuous cycle that certainly includes us, tenacious as we may sometimes be.

I will spend my day doing many things, many tasks that need to be done, but I will wait for the late afternoon sun to spill into my kitchen and assure me that life goes on as it always has and I will, for that moment, feel a part of it and I will be happy in my summer house. ps

mothers

 

1-IMG_5448The goodbyes were odd and sudden. I told him, Jon, goodbye by the “R” train near the WTC Memorial and her, Elizabeth, near a red prep kitchen on the outskirts of Provincetown. Done.

2-IMG_5478I drove away with emerging tears and questions from the heart. Oddly, I drove to Plymouth Rock only to find the Mayflower missing and in Connecticut until June being repaired or refurbished. I saw “The Rock” but got no sense of the Pilgrims’ long arduous nearly impossible journey, instead everything was pristine and “touristy”, I was disappointed. The town is beautiful, however, as are all of the New England towns hugging the coast…quintessential.

     magnolia1Just as quick as my challenging good byes, spring appeared as I crossed the Mason Dixon line. Like a switch was flipped, I left the farm houses and silos in Penn’s woods and found the lushness of the trees in West Virginia, I was in the South once again.. Life is fleeting says Mother Nature and ever changing says she again. I must listen, for there are the answers. We have to go with the seasons of our lives, we have to change constantly or our resistance will cause us much dread and heartache, this I know. So, I traveled for 3 days, many latitudes, nearly all of the Satellite stations and a spectrum of emotions…I was exhausted.

Finally, home. I found little piles of her throughout the house. I knew this reentry would be difficult, I knew her perfume would linger amongst discarded wardrobe in nearly every room (she is a bit messy), it did and I felt sad. Again, I would miss her.

In summary, of this nearly 4000 mile journey, I have learned that travel broadens us, it allows us to understand and somewhat feel how others live while, ironically, helps us to understand our lives better and perhaps appreciate our latitudes more. And on the topic of good byes, they are hard, especially if you are the one being left. You walk into a house that was once filled with family and now, for me, the last one leaves and only the memories, castoff personal items and empty childhood rooms that await the next visit remain.

 I will not end this expedition on such a melancholy note, for I am happy about the journeys of their youth, journeys that I can witness and need to be taken, experiences that will become their lives. I watch as they write their stories.

 I do enjoy this space on the sidelines after all of the years and emotion within the “game”. It is a passive place I choose, a place to watch from and hopefully enjoy as children emerge into the people we cannot just love, but can connect to in another phase.

So, I will try my best to follow the laws of Nature and bend and grow and change as I prepare to embrace and welcome the times ahead and leave the times behind me safe within my heart.

An early Happy Mother’s Day to all of you…motherhood is a unique and sometimes very difficult journey but we are all part of a special group with the most important job in the world to do. Remember to bend, change and adapt just as Nature reminds us to do with each new season. Nothing will remain the same. If we stand still, we will be overcome and if we resist, we will be broken. xo

FullSizeRender (16)a special gift from my friend, Tilly Strauss. check out her blog…@tillystudio.blogspot.com