I have made this decision to spend a bit of time each week end going through something – like a drawer or a closet – nothing overly ambitious. This Saturday I chose a shelf in the laundry room – not the whole room now, just a shelf. Anyway, on that shelf sits two containers – one has all of my framing artsy stuff in it – picture hangers, wire etc. and the “other” has all kinds of household helpers – hammers, screw drivers, tacks, tape, etc. Within the bowels of the “other” I found something of long ago – kite strings and electric outlet covers. I immediately got redirected to some March a long long time ago, or was it just yesterday, when paper kites and little boys were running in the field near our house trying to catch the wind. And plastic outlet covers I bought by the pack were in all of the sockets for all of the years of diapers and curious little hands.
It was a sudden and unexpected journey back in time that transformed my day and prompted me to just write about it. I was able to complete my small sorting task, my shabby attempt at organization but I drifted in and out of nostalgia throughout the day. I thought a lot about time and how mystical it is – it’s here and then it’s gone and then even then it’s still here, isn’t it? I could touch those moments I could easily remember the bit of fear I had and urgency to cover up all of the sockets and I could remember the beauty of the wind lifting the kites that caused the happiness – it was all right there but then I looked at the relics and they were here but very old and tired looking – they were from a yesterday of long ago and no longer had purpose.
I walked after the rain today and the earth seemed fresh scrubbed and clean. The birds were flapping in the water, the frogs were croaking alongside of the ditches and the sky was brilliant and animated – all of these sights and sounds were amazing but what really stirred me were the puddles – the small puddles the dips in the road made. I don’t really know why but each one reminded me of a little boy with bare feet making sure he stepped in every one, not stepped, splashed, and each time there would be a laugh, a genuine laugh that only children have, one that makes you feel so happy. Those moments of childhood are just snapshots now, little flashes of memory that something, like the rain, takes me to unexpectedly. I can see the little feet and hear the small voices – pure happiness on a summer day long ago. I know time removes the murky stuff and leaves us with just the happy memories but somehow walking in puddles after a summer rain with a little boy can only be joyous.
I wonder what I am doing now that I will remember later with tenderness. I suppose it could be these last bit of high school days with Elizabeth, days when I wait for her to come home from school and hear about her day and speak of friends that will, sadly, go away, friends and classmates that are such a big part of her life right now. Life doesn’t stop, it moves on and when we look back, it seems to have gone so quickly.
I may have written this before but it’s worth another posting. It is a story about me as a young mother with four little boys standing in line at Eckerd Drugs – the older two, Jon and Will, standing alongside of me and the twins, Matt and Drew, sitting in the buggy. It was an effort to go anywhere then with four young children but I must have needed something really badly that day. In the line behind me was an old man. I could tell he was watching us fidgeting, moving, and anxious. After a while he said to me, “I have twins too, girls. They are grown now. “ I suppose I must have been too weary to even respond to what seemed to be his small talk because then, he got my attention when he said, ” Enjoy them because the years will go so fast.” And then he smiled and said, ” It’s those days that are so long.” I will never forget that wisdom.
“This-this was what made life: a moment of quiet, the water falling in the fountain, the girl’s voice … a moment of captured beauty. He who is truly wise will never permit such moments to escape.”
I found this old post , one from the very early days of my blog, and it is so fresh and so focused on what I imagined for this weblog so I decided to repost and refresh 🙂
While I wash the last of the dishes this morning, dishes left from supper, I am listening to Neil Diamond’s Forever in Blue Jeans. For the most part, the house is quiet. I stack the plates smallest to biggest, and arrange the cups somewhat neatly on the drying rack and casually glance at the day ahead. It should be a simple day, a day filled with ordinary stuff and minimal confusion; the kind of day that I love most. For a minute, I think of my mother and how I would sit at the kitchen table when I was a teen and still so bewildered. I’d watch her wash each glass and each plate in a way that was hers and I’d talk and ask questions and she’d answer and it felt so good to be there in that kitchen, in that shelter where my world was turned right side up. Somehow I knew then that I would remember those times and I knew I was recording that image of her as she washed dishes and the way she listened and the world she created for me and all of my adolescent insecurities.
Those big moments in life are necessary and certainly enjoyable, but these little moments that aren’t so noteworthy, are where I find peace and connection. The big moments bring with them so much anticipation that sometimes we are bound by expectation to be disappointed. I rather those moments of spontaneity and surprise, a day when nothing is really on the docket and suddenly Elizabeth comes in with a zinnia for my kitchen vase or I find the first turquoise egg from one of my Americanas, or Neil Diamond comes on the radio and sings Forever in Blue Jeans while I am washing the supper dishes and remembering my mom.
In case you find some garden time today, I hope you do, and if you have a lot of basil by now, you may want to dry some for the winter. I have learned that it should not be tied and bunched like some of the other herbs. I will post the correct way according to my source, Organic Gardening Magazine :
• Don’t tie basil stalks together or hang them to dry as you might other herbs.
• Pinch or snip leaves from the stems and place them on a screen or absorbent towel.
• Stir daily and allow to dry until crackly.
• Store in an airtight container.
Till next time,
I walked through the house very early this morning before lights were turned on and the day began. The scattered strands of Christmas lights lite the way and everything was still and I could feel the history there – the babies, the birthday parties , my mom’s little visits, my dad sitting on the kitchen chair, Christmases past, it was all still there in the quietness amongst the twinkling lights.
I have been writing “a book” for years now – it’s really a memoir of someone profound in my life – Miss Sue – . I can’t seem to complete it, however. I spent a little time with it this morning, just proofing, and I found this little piece I thought you might like , something you might connect with.
The days are going quickly, for the school year is closing. I can feel summer on my face; I can see the vibrant sunsets late in the day and the puffy white clouds that fill the summer skies and allow me to daydream for just a short while. I am, of course, grown up now and do not seem to notice all those signs of summer as often as I would like, for I am inside much of the day, distracted and waiting for the coolness of the evening and the sounds made after sundown. This sort of exclusion from the natural world was never a part of Miss Sue’s day; she was always in touch with it and guided by it; there were no rumbling of a central unit or clamorous noises from a flat screen. I think of this and I realize my compromise. I sometimes feel disdain towards this direction I have chosen. I should be there in the garden more and in the woods helping fallen birds and finding berries and watching Nature close up each day. I regret that I strayed yet thankful to, at least, have the memories. The memories are sometimes what sustain me, “me” being my identity, for I, of course, have sustenance for life; it is the metaphysical “me” that sometimes gets lost. My life is rich, made that way by having my family, but as every wife and mother knows, somewhere some time ago, there was just “you”. I search for her here at this keyboard and when I find her, I write, for here at the keyboard, I control my life and I find my way back. I hope that each word brings you closer to what I want you to know. Some days, like today, the words flow as if directed and some days they are tangled up and knotted and I get stuck in the here and now , not allowed in my past because of the superfluous clutter of now. Today, however, I am free from current events and I hope to spend time with Miss Sue and her world.
|Miss Sue’s house painted by me when I was 15 (not so great but you can “get the picture”!