Category Archives: Be There

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

Be There

IMG_0904I am thinking of the winters of my life and I think this is the best, simply because this one is now. When I was in Florence this summer, “delivering” my daughter to school, a school that was 5000 miles away from Loreauville, LA, I would find myself sad and anxious and scared amongst the beauty of the Renaissance and Elizabeth. I was within an experience I never dreamed of having – it was so counter and negative to mix those great moments with apprehension. Those destructive feelings kept me in a state away from joy and I battled. Eventually I wrote about my dread, my fear of saying “good – bye” to Elizabeth, and emailed it to my friend, Lucy Hunnicutt. Her reply turned everything around for me, she simply said, “Be there”. From that point on, I was, I was there with my daughter embracing each moment and identifying it as the gift that it was, those words freed me.

 Be there. Be where you are at this moment, this moment that will be gone. It is all so brief and transitory. Anyway, I just wanted to remind you. Had I not been prompted, I would have missed moments in my life that were some of the most beautiful. I stood in the streets of Florence between the Duomo and the Gates of Paradise and cried tears of appreciation and gratitude, instead of tears of anticipation and dread. I did not think then of the inevitable good bye, for it would come on its own and in that moment, its moment, I would deal with it. It was a difficult good bye, but now, in this, the best winter of my life, I can think of the wonderful times we spent before the “good bye”, moments that are not tainted by the anticipation of the next. Thanks Lucy, I hope I was able to successfully pass on your simple words and gigantic message.

There are angels amongst us.

 

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