Friday, October 30, 2009

At the Root of the Matter

I have a tendency to lift off. Granna would say I have my heads in the clouds. And she is partially right. I have my head in the clouds, in the leaves, in the blossoms, in the moonlight, at the tips of branches, in the get the idea. And when difficult things happened, when I was blanketed with grief, I would always fly away, barely aware of my feet touching the ground.

Over time I have learned to love the ground. There are a myriad of things to wonder at. New buds, dirt teeming with life, rocks, digging and planting, fallen leaves...And it isn't as if I still don't dance in the clouds, but that I've learned to dance on the earth as well.

It has everything to do with heartbreak. Which, for the record, I'm not saying is a bad thing. I can't help but be awake and open to all the unfathomable beauty of the world. And if you are paying attention, really listening and awake, your heart breaks regularly. How could it not? I believe our hearts are made to break, to burst open time and again so that it can hold more; and then some more.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It's the Little Things

A glass bottle filled to the brim with syrup shattered and while mopping up the mess, I managed to get an infinitesimal sliver of glass in my finger. It wasn't the bleeding or the fact of it, but the invisible pain. The fact that I couldn't find the darn thing and, well, it hurt.

It's not the big things that get to you much of the time. Last night the wind lashed against the house and I could see the white caps in the storm out on the water. The windows trembled and moaned and the kitties and I cuddled close hoping the power would not go out. But I was fine (I admit I love a good storm) and eventually fell asleep feeling brave.

So here I am with a wee puncture wound with some mean spirited piece of glass hidden in there and I am suddenly five years old. I can hear my Granna telling me to soak it in hot salt water before trying to get it out. I can imagine her capable hands taking care of it briskly with a minimum of fuss. All the way to the tsk tsk and the stinging peroxide, band aid and a cookie. And I would marvel at how she could find and conquer the invisible enemy and make it better.

Now left to my own devices, I shall soak it in salt water, find it (hopefully with a minimum of fuss) and pour peroxide over it, get the band aid on and if I'm very lucky I will hear Granna's tsk tsk and remember how often she just took care of things. I don't know if I always thanked her... then. But I do now.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Visits From Princess Cupcake

One of the greatest joys of my summer was visiting with a very special eight year old, known to a select few as Princess Cupcake. She brought along her beloved and trusty coach driver, Jennie.

On one particular day, we built rock sculptures at the beach and had a picnic. It happened to also be a day where I saw two bald eagles on land, dancing around one another (I'm certain they were singing "Getting to Know You" from The King And I). Right in front of us! Jennie took stunning photos with her new camera and a merry day was had by all.

On another day we ran around the farm blowing bubbles and chasing the wind. And discussed fairies and very special sock monkeys and favorite books.

At the end of Summer, after Princess Cupcake flew home to the city of angels, Jennie found and shared some writing and pictures our little princess had left and shared them with me. Too wonderful to keep hidden, I share them now with you.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Russet Mantle Clad

Surrounded by rain today. I'm grateful for the vividness of color that surrounds me, staving off the otherwise blue-ish gray mood that ever threatens - or at least keeping it at bay. But it's not the rain's fault. I love the rain. It's just sometimes we feel the tang of sadness or melancholy. Whether or not the weather is bright or dim. This is one of those days. The trees are dressed in their finest array today, dancing in the wind. Showing off a bit. Honestly, they are trying to coax a giggle. And may yet succeed.

There is a sweetness in the dreamy mist of melancholy. Perhaps all writers or artists need to reside there from time to time. To watch the rain, walk aimless on a stormy beach.

Whatever the reason, my Granna would say to enjoy the wallow. To dwell there. To feel it completely and then burn clean. And while I'm there, go ahead and do something useful like the laundry or scrub the kitchen floor. (Ever practical, my Granna) So I am proud to say that while I write I hear the drum and thrum of the dryer tossing the clothes willy-nilly.

That tiny, fierce woman is always with me.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Painting Fairies

When I was a wee thing, my Granna informed me that there were Painting Fairies who painted the leaves in Autumn. At night, when we were all abed, of course.

Naturally I spent many a sleepless night trying to catch them at it. I was sure I caught a glimpse now and again. And this may have been the beginnings of a lifetime of insomnia. Always trying to catch the night magic.

I still remember running in the house, arms filled with half green leaves, quite indignant that the fairies were so lazy that they didn't finish painting these particular leaves all the way. Granna, as usual, explained it perfectly. It seems in the early nights of Autumn, the Painting Fairies are just waking up, are very sleepy and are sometimes known to nod off, mid leaf and that the green, unfinished part of the leaf is where they slept. When the dawn arrives, they flutter off and forget where they slept and so the leaves are unfinished. By the end of Autumn, they are all quite awake and the leaves become more vivid.

This made absolute sense to me. Though I admit I worried about woozy fairies falling off the leaves or running into a tree for a time.

I thought about them this morning as I watched the sun rise over the beginnings of a crimson array in the orchard. It is Painting Fairy Season again.


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