one thing I’m proud of … one thing I’ve been procrastinating … something in service to others … … add to my general knowledge … bring something up the stairs I find languishing there at the bottom … follow through … grow as a human … read … write … acknowledge someone else’s efforts … use what I have … tidy up … pare down … waste nothing, not time – energy – or resources … right a wrong … reach out … lift up … let go … make the phone call … breathe … simplify that which I’ve made complex … face a challenge … believe … honor those who came before me … create … hope … learn … love …
In the morning
sitting with a blank page
a black BIC pen
journal folded in half
writing on the flat side
often forgetting to dot i
or cross t
“You write so slowly,” she said once.
I’ve thought about that comment many times over the years,
only now feeling grateful,
instead of criticized,
I am writing at all.
If you’re in want of a miracle, you need only visit New England in spring. You’ll find the glory you’re looking for in the unfurling of daffodils, the birth of wild violets, and the promise of lilacs. The splendor you seek will be discovered in a burst of forsythia alongside granite rock walls, and there’s something undeniably magical about the magnificence of a magnolia tree in bloom. We’re a ways past sugaring season – one of spring’s first miracles, and impatient as we are to plant in the garden, we welcome the soft purple velvet of pansies in a pot on the porch.
I’ve yet to see Canada geese, though I’ve heard a few honks. The turkey toms are all strut and nonsense out back by the chicken coop where the girls are laying regularly again. So many birds are back, and on my walk I hear a towhee whistle, a repetition I’ve gone so long without. There’s a persistent drill of a woodpecker somewhere off in the distance, and I feel almost dizzy with gratitude to be outside and warm again.
There’s a particular patch of peach daffodils out front of a favorite old farmhouse I walk past. I wait all year for their bloom. No blooms yet, but I know there’s a measured pace and pattern to growing. Just as I know the apple trees blossom sometime around Mother’s Day and the peonies a week or so after that, I know nature takes its own sweet time with no regard for human opinion or hope. Those peach daffydowndillies are late bloomers is all, and if pleasures like these awoke all at once, they’d be done and over, there and gone before I knew it. Too much, too soon is never a good thing.
Beyond the old farmhouse I can hear the rush and tumble of a usually slow and humble creek all proud and boisterous after this week’s Nor’easter. I’m on the watch for baby ducks paddling single file in the quieter water below the falls, or if we’re lucky, maybe some goslings too. Just to smell fresh water and first-mown grass feels almost impossible somehow. Wasn’t it snowing and cold only yesterday?
My silly watch measures my walk and my much slower-than-normal pace, once in awhile messaging: Are you done with your workout? I’m sure it wonders why on earth I’m walking so slowly.
As if that requires explanation.
I’m witness to the greening of grass, the golding of weeping willows, and the arrival of a New England spring. A privilege. A blessing. A miracle.
I have so many writing ideas when there’s no time to write.
Truly, I have ever so much more to say once upon a work day, and despite my whenever I have day off intentions, I hardly ever follow through. I’ve netted many a willow wisp of an idea in the hour or so before my shift starts, but I live onward in the day and in the days after that without looking back to whatever thought I captured.
I have to believe if I had something important to say, I couldn’t help myself but say it.
Still, ideas I’ve left unexplored feel like hopes neglected and a voice – my voice – ignored.
I’ll need to meet myself face-to-face at this intersection of what I say I want and walking what I talk.
I wonder why the commitments to myself are those I’m least likely to honor?
Hope is hardy though, especially and always in spring. If ever there was a time for new growth, this is it.
So look for me nestled … and writing … among the branches of the forsythia, anticipating the bloom of the lilac, my words, and me.
When what’s good for me becomes just one more thing to do, and I am no longer one of my own priorities.
No amount of candle lighting or journal writing can recenter the weight.There’s only the passage of time, hope for a good night’s sleep, and the certain knowledge this time too shall pass.
In the meantime, there are negotiations. Trades. This for that. Time borrowed here and spent there. Adjustments.
And the truth is, imbalance is just as unsustainable as balance.
Because there arrives a day when the pressure subsides. Responsibilities lift. Check marks ink all the to-be-dones as done. And I wonder what all the fuss was about.
Hope emerges from underneath the pile on the desk.
I turn a new page in the journal, flip the calendar to April, and finally choose to pack the camera after all.
I breathe in. Exhale. And smile.
Every little thing’s gonna be alright.*
Thanks to Bob Marley for the reminder.