Tiny chirps let us know that the eggs in the nest above our light fixture have hatched,
and so this year, having failed yet again to prevent her nesting there,
we re-arrange our tiny porch to better accommodate feeding & flight,
which is to say: poop;
while eagerly awaiting the sight of little heads popping up from her moss wrapped nest.
She comes every year.
Last June Casey saw each one of her chicks take flight.
She’s been my steady companion this cold spring–flying out each time I arrive home or depart,
and then as the weather warmed, flying back and forth to the nest as I watched from the kitchen, fixing meals for my family, while she fed hers.
Last week I introduced her to a friend.
We’re all Mamas after all.
But then a day went by, and I realized I hadn’t seen her, and then another, and I was almost certain I hadn’t, so this morning, I asked Casey to check.
This year I decided or defaulted into resenting summer’s approach, which has long been my favorite time of year (ever since marriage & motherhood confined me to a state where the season of life is so absurdly short.)
So that even as I returned to my summer pleasure palace–South Pond–I resented it:
“Oh, this again…”
Which was a terrifying or at least a largely alarming state of mind, particularly after such a protracted winter.
“Had South Pond changed?
Was this what it was to age?”
But even in my sourness, there was suspicion.
Was I simply protecting my heart?
Had I lost the capacity to love in the face of inevitable loss?
YES! That was it!
I couldn’t bear another summer ending.
And so I wouldn’t love it.
But then May came, and even with all its cold rain, it wooed me.
And then June, not even through, was sweeping me off my feet.
So that I’m pretty sure that I’m falling in love again, in spite of myself, because this morning when I woke, in yet another dour middle-aged mood, I looked across the room and thought:
Look how beautiful my blow dryer.
I’m gonna take a photo of it in this morning light
and share it on Instagram”
I cozy up in the chair beside the woodstove,
a peppery mug of chai in my hand,
and turn to face out the French doors,
toward the promise of spring
is all we have
in these mountains
While the valley below swoons with bloom.
I don’t mean to rhyme, but even without sun,
the mid-day light on this hill beckons;
the grass almost greening;
the bulbs almost bursting;
But the branches
Oh those branches!
Weary with waiting
Darkened with rain
Empty and foreboding.
But wait, what’s that I see?
Faint, so very faint,
but definitely something other
than brown or gray or tiresome Evergreen.
Poetry comes to my lips,
but before I can grab a pen to put down the words I say aloud,
and as if my voice is an invocation
I hear the call of the geese
and look toward the pond
and watch them fly overhead.
Maybe it was the tick of the woodstove
or the soup in the pot
that clouded my vision;
Or perhaps: the first blush of spring in the mountains
is happening at this very moment
for all those, like me, who sit still and see.
I miss the Reading Lady on Williston–that tiny road on the back side of town.
She was my favorite sign of spring.
Appearing there on the porch of her aging Victorian.
Layers shed beneath gingerbread lattice
While the season unfolded into summer.
First a cup of tea and a blanket.
Then a glass of lemonade and a sun hat.
And always a book (and reading glasses.)
Well into autumn.
Right there on the corner as I drove by.
Did she move away or worse–pass away?
I like to imagine her on the coast of Maine.
Overlooking the ocean or perhaps beside a quiet bay.
Waves lapping at the dock
Where she reads
While the world
A bit slower
The world conspired to keep me awake. The warm air. The intoxicating sounds. The sky. Especially the sky! First Mars. Then all those constellations whose shapes & names I never bothered to learn. Then something else. A first for the season! So soon? Maybe it was a plane. A falling star. A UFO. I got up three times. After midnight. To be sure.
My guys strut around in the Rockin Rose towels I bought for spring, Makes my feminist heart sing.
Here’s to black fly bites & ant infestations.
Without which we’d drown in the intoxication of May.
I suppose I was 17 and she was not quite 2. We dove under the sea together and the salt water soaked her long lashes and made the gift of her in my arms under the warm sun almost unbearable.
“You have such pretty eyes, Bon Bon,” I said.
After which, she looked at me, just as earnestly, with the sand kissing the fine hairs of my face, and said,
“You have two eyes too, Kel Kel!”
One year ago today. Bernie announced his campaign. On the waterfront. In Burlington, Vermont.
both boys back in the house
At 52, I’ve become such a risk taker. In relationship. First with a friend. Then a sister.
Exposing where I’ve been hurt instead of tucking it inside. To fester.
After I share, I listen and respond to the ways I’ve presented a similar challenge. To them.
I am so brave. And vulnerable.
We all are.
after 10 days away, i love re-integrating back home
under the cover
Another day, another graduate!
May 21, 2016
Am I pretty?
52, and I still want
to know. Daddy,
do you think so?
Medicine enters the next generation…
Nephew Corey (my sister Robin’s oldest and the first of our next gen) JUST graduated from Medical School.
Continuing on the path of his father (ER doc), grandfather (Surgeon) & grandmother (Nurse), great-grandfather (Surgeon), great-great grandfather (Physician) & great-great grandmother (Nurse), and his great-great-great grandfather (Health Officer.)
The island in May. Empty of commerce. Pulsing in preparation. Landscapers. Dune-shapers. Painters. Stockers. Deliverers. A shoulder season like September, but intemperate & gusty with an unwelcome chill. A desire for baring, not covering. Skin. Aching for swimsuits, not sweatshirts. The anxious cheer of Open for Business. Eager staff training & being trained. Busboys seeking anything upon which to apply clean rags. Everyone practicing on pretend customers, like me, before the real ones arrive, in throngs, in season, with the height of the summer sun…
Happy 26th Anniversary of our Marriage, Casey
the “backdrop to women’s oppression for centuries”
(I wouldn’t want to live inside this institution with anyone else.)
Though I was born here, and lived here from time to time throughout my life, it is the returning that I most appreciate. And in this, I have been well received, both by the sea, and by those who have welcomed me and my family over a lifetime. First grandparents, then parents and in-laws, aunts & uncles, siblings, cousins, friends, friends of siblings, parents of friends–each providing spare bedrooms, empty apartments, entire homes–so that I might know, and always remember, that I belong.
The pre-patriarchal goddess, Hera, returned for a ritual bath to the Spring of Kanathus every year to renew her Virginity–the quality of belonging to herself.
~Sue Monk Kidd, The Dance of the Dissident Daughter
In my bag, I have packed, just about 700 pages
Ready for gentle eyes
If ever cease I to call Vermont my home, this may be what I’ll miss most…
To her home state. The great state of North Carolina.
“Let us learn from our history and avoid repeating the mistakes of our past… Let us write a different story this time.”
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch
How often have I lived my life in compensation…
for another’s lived or unlived life…
Or my own…
How might I live without it…
Where does the balance of self reside?
Healers, artists, builders, coaches, counselors, teachers.This rich village in which we raise children.With special gratitude for Beverly Current at the Colonial Pool & Spa, who retires this summer, but not before coaxing a reluctant swimmer into proficiency & delight. True mastery.
I don’t read a lot of fiction. Because I feel manipulated and all. But my favorite fiction is once read. Sent by a friend. Who just had to share. Post office and all. Hoping I’d love it too.
I guess there’s some alchemy to an old white guy reminding us who we are as a country (and who we are not.)
30 years ago. The phone rang. It was Casey Deane.
Calling for a job.
what if i didn’t try to change how i was feeling.
what if i felt tired or depressed or heavy or all three and i just let that be. as if there was nothing wrong with me. as if how i am feeling is an invitation. as is. to really know. me. nothing to change. nothing to fix. nothing to flee.
next time, i’ll try this.
today i had chocolate. (lots of it.)
~EARTHSHINE: Sunlight reflects off the earth and lights up the moon; most intensely just before & after the New Moon of April & May.
Mothers Day sightings:
Racoon. Porcupine. (both dead)
Fox with two kits. Crossing road.
Turkey. Crossing highway.
Mouse. Crossing Rte 9.
(honorable mention: Golden Eagle, seated, on Rte 9, the week prior.)
Mothers day. Every day.
Feel the love. The sacrifice. THE POWER.
~A middle-aged man & woman, searching for trash along the side of the road, pause to exchange a touch & a kiss. #GreenUpDay
~A silver-haired man wipes tears from his cheek as the chorus sings, “Every week, I visit my mother. She lives in a place where they can take care of her. She’s not sure that I’m her daughter, but that no longer makes me cry.” #BrattleboroWomensChorus
~HEROINES with young children at performances throughout time, braving the gauntlet of breakdowns, while the rest of us get to focus so intently that we bristle at each squeak. #Motherhood
Celebrating all the ways we’ve been mothered well, and all the ways we can mother ourselves…
I can look out the window and see another dreary day or I can see the carpet of white blossoms on the greening earth.
I can look toward my kitchen and see the crumbs and disarray, or I can sense into the years of feeding a family and celebrating home.
I can look into the past and remember a mother who abandoned her children or I can see a woman who looked her demons in the eye and invited to them to the table where she nourished my soul.
Even the cd shuffler knows that stealing the sun after a few hours flirtation is crueler than another day without it.
Daffodils on a string of cold, dreary days; like sunny people at funerals.
You know that moment just before you transition into deep sleep? It’s there that He appears. Waking me. With a startle. Each night since Cruz dropped out. (Thank the Lord.) But now there’s no more pretending. He’s their guy. #Trump
Yesterday I finally tracked down a beloved. I can’t believe how hard she’s been to find. Made simpler by one fact: the smile that greeted me every morning in 7th, 8th & 9th grade was the same one she beamed at 51.
From her obituary.
That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.
After a 6 month hiatus, I’m struck by a tidal wave of sensation. Fear. Constriction. Resistance. A
nd something even more immobilizing:
Who do I think I am?!
The stakes are this high.
9 years of experience washed away.
Forced back to the beginning.
The initiation. Ishvara Pranidhana. Let my successes and my failures be an offering. #TeacherAppreciationDay#Unmasked
I asked Father Hodges–the one who wore a hair shirt and had us sing Irish drinking tunes in our senior theology class at Wildwood Catholic High–if I might be excused from getting on my knees and saying the rosary.
“I’m not Catholic,” I said.
The next day he volunteered me to crown Mary in the May pageant.
First a chipmunk beside my chair.
Then a bird nesting above the door.
A fox barking at the boys beside the fire.
A buck grazing near the bath tub while I shower.
A hummingbird too, circling me, and the spray of water, on consecutive mornings.
Cue the yellow butterflies escorting our departures from home, and our returns too.
On the evening walk, a beaver paddles by.
In the morning, an eagle swoops overhead.
In the afternoon a hawk.
A salamander scurries at foot.
A raccoon, straight out of a picture book, joins our picnic, helps himself to compost, stares back at our pointing, our oohs and awes, and the dogs, do nothing, no barks; they don’t even lift their heads.