Sunday, March 30, 2014

1,000 Ways to Kneel and Kiss the Ground

This morning I witnessed a tipping point.  I sit every morning in my little patch of winter sun, on the edge of the porch, my feet on the stone that serves as a step.  It doesn't really matter how cold it is, I get so tired of the woodstove fire and I'm not really an inside sort of person.  I watch, taking in the changes brought in by the new day and the Daffodils are one of my first sightings.

 Do you know how the Daffodils, those bright brave heralds of Spring, unfurl right on the edge of the right time?  It is such good timing for me, so weary with winter and longing for warmth and such ill advised timing for them. And do you also know how they bend to kiss the ground when they are hit with the inevitable return to winter?  And how somehow during the day they come upright again?

A pure miracle. 

Today as I took a sip of coffee, one popped upright and stood vibrating for a long moment.  A few minutes later another, and then another.   They sing when they lift their heads from the ground, I swear they do. 

And of course, I thought of Rumi and then myself.  If I could be so brave in my fragile body, trusting in whatever magic, or grace, there is.  Wouldn't I bow and kiss the ground and then vibrate and sing when I lifted my head once again? 

“Today I wake up empty and frightened. Don’t go to the door of the study and read a book. Instead, take down the dulcimer, let the beauty of what you love be what you do. There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground, there are a thousand ways to go home again.” – Rumi

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Awkward Grace

We are in that in-between time where it's too chilly to not have a fire, but when I do, I have to crack the windows.  After three days of warm sunny weather low heavy clouds have blown in on the North West wind.  The trees are talking to each other, rubbing elbows and murmuring softly as they do when the wind rolls through.  My little puddle of winter sun is not so warm today, it's no match for what the the wind brought in.  The birds are busy, a sure sign more weather is to come.

I'm tired before I've begun.  Sore from digging garden beds yesterday, foggy from a restless night of dreams and lonely.  This time of year is a lonely time for me.  I long to share the work and the wonder, to sit and plan over morning coffee.  To do our work and come together again over dinner and the too warm fire. 

This morning as I walked out to feed the chickens I stopped, listening to the turkeys calling to each other in the trees down the hill.  Unseen and present.

Yesterday sitting on the porch in my tiny pool of weak winter sun  I looked up to see a small herd of deer grazing on the edge of the garden.  Peace and a hint of joy over the existence of that sort of thing were my first instincts.  Hard the heels of that was, "I'm going to have to plant the peas somewhere else this year."  Awkward grace, so beautiful in the deer, in my friend's giant Great Dane puppy, is not so lovely in us humans. Once we leave that early adolescent, long legged awkwardness, it's hard to see the grace within or without. 

So much joy and beauty, so much grace and awkwardness, unseen and present.  Mostly, I'm just tired before I begin and longing for Summer.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Kind of Like Me

The garden is at it's worst right now.  Tired, half dead, raggedy with the detritus of fall littering every space.  Here and there are brave green shoots of Iris, Daffodil, and Lilly.  Too soon.  They peek up and are stung into stillness.  Not able to move forward or back, having to sit and wait for warmer weather.  The weeds however, flourish.  I pull them absentmindedly all through the darkest coldest days.  Even though I did what I thought was a fine job of preparing the garden for winter it does not look comfortably put to bed.  It looks like a restless child, covers tossed here and there, toys, crumbs, clothes scattered over everything.  Does the garden dream in winter, wondering if it will make it?  Feeling lost in the darkness?  Or is it better at this than I am? 


I haven't written on here in so long I forgot how to get to the blog.  My mother insisted I needed to write again.  She might be right.  Sometimes she is.  She was right about this: 

Almost a week to the day after David died she stood with me in our bedroom, insisting that I choose my favorites of his shirts and put them in a black plastic trash bag to take with me to the first memorial service in Hanover.  I didn't want to.  I wasn't ready to have them gone.  She insisted, standing there with that bag open.  I did it.  One of David's nieces had told me that when I was ready she would take the shirts and turn them into a quilt. 

She has been teasing me a bit during the year, sending an email telling me where she was in the process but never letting me know anything about it.  Then on Friday, March 7th; she wrote that it was finished.  A full year to the day later the quilt was ready.  It came in the mail on Monday and was so perfect, so full of his presence that I simply sat with it in my lap and cried.  Good crying.  It was like I got him back.  I remember every shirt, the old plaid flannel one that he wore every morning as he drank his coffee, before it was quite warm enough for just a Tshirt.  The old gray one with holes in the elbows and a frayed collar that I wouldn't let him get rid of because I loved it so much.  The blue one that matched his eyes.  The one he wore when he had to dress up. The two that his ex-wife made him, that I should've hated, but I loved the linen fabrics that changed color depending on the way the light hit them.  The list goes on.  So many memories held in those fabrics.

It is the perfect size to wrap up in on these crazy spring nights and it looks like it was made to be in this house.  Which I guess it was. 

This was a gift in another way as well.  In the back of my mind when I think of all the gifts I received during this time, I am sure that I will never have a gift to give when it is my turn.  I don't cook well, I can't play music, I'm not a super good organizer, but I do quilt.  I could do this for someone.  That realization moved me forward just a bit more. 

I've been writing again, on paper, maybe I'll start up here again.  A bit over a year into this I still have days where I simply manage to get through what is required of me.  But sometimes, sometimes, I have glimpses of something that makes me think I might find joy again.  Love wins, right?