Yesterday was a late summer day that smelled like fall with light that draped itself around the garden like velvet, the sun whispering it’s most beautiful song almost as if to cement her memory on the planet before she rests her vividness in the coming months of winter. Her song in September never fails to fill me with melancholy and nostalgia and my restless soul wants to run to the mountains or sink down low into late summer’s gold fields and the very air seems to sing my life song back to me, memories of a time long ago becoming vivid and tangible and present.
There was a swarming of bees in our front yard, a frenzy of activity, the bees loud and seeming to move in circles, random, vicious and busy circles and I saw them after I had returned from errands just before I opened the door to leave the car, but instead sat inside and watched them collide with the windshield and door and I wondered should I park out back to avoid being stung? And then I thought, they want nothing to do with me and I am not assaulted when I leave the car. They swarm for hours and as I watch, I see they are not angry, just frenzied.
Sometimes I wonder if the most dangerous thing we do with ourselves is hold too tightly. Sometimes I wonder at the grace I experience when I open my hands to the heavens and let go. When I stop fighting. When I wrap a blanket of understanding around myself and I lie warm and secure soothed by memories of times good and bad, miscellaneous snapshots that bring my life, my living, back into focus. There is grace in being.
Rob and I went for an early evening bike ride and the air was glorious as it whipped at my skin and an enormous dragonfly or perhaps a hummingbird flew directly at me and skimmed my left ear and I did not crash. We rode side by side, sometimes silent, other times chatting about the extraordinary evening and the weekend we had just spent outside of Boston and the comfort of him by my side even in silence was and always is enormous in it’s ordinary and simple magic. I think how much power lies in the touch of his hand on my shoulder and how the sound of his laughter creates champagne bubbles in my belly and how the boy-like sparkle in his eye chases darkness out of the darkest cloud. I am captivated by such ordinary moments.
I remember my first school year in Massachusetts after my family moved from New Jersey. I was nine and the shoes I wore were not leather and like many school children I was hot walking home from school, having dressed for the cool morning and I can still see the leaves on the ground that I kicked into the air in front of me and I was alone and instead of feeling lonely, felt richly immersed in my imagination and I was becoming a writer right then and there. I was a sensitive child and remain a sensitive woman and this curse-blessing is what has the potential to bring me to my knees in magical and ordinary moments and drives me to share them with you. I want you to know you are not alone so that I, too, remember I am not alone.
Then there was the Autumn when I was given an opportunity to birth myself, when what I once believed crumbled down and things previously unquestioned suddenly demanded answers and when I began to develop the wings to fly in a new direction and the apple orchards were filled with bees flying in a panic, stinging anything they encountered, knowing the morning’s frost announced the end of their life span and why not go out with a spark of intensity?
A few years ago I was given the opportunity to spend the night at a friend’s guest house in Waterville Valley, NH after attending a conference in Boston. The weather was dull and misty, but when I walked in the woods, the colors performed in brilliance against the gray of the day and created a cathedral of grace and I was in the present, the past, and the future. I saw, like an old 8 mm film, where I had been years ago when the pain of returning to this place I had lost was too grand to overcome up to now when it wasn’t, where I was once again kicking through the moist carpet of color. I zipped up my sweatshirt and inhaled and I felt alive.
When the fall light shines and the trees begin to color, when I think of the past, and no I don’t want to return, but oh how brightly days from long ago tug at my heart and say wistfully, remember when. Remember how we brought you to today?