There is a snowmelt today. It reminds me of when Laura awoke Pa to tell him the chinook was blowing in The Long Winter. The rain is pouring down accompanied by grumbles of thunder and flashes of lightning.
Yesterday was warm enough to play on the front porch and clean up the ice sheets, move projects on to the garage, and widen the snow-banked walkway. As the mounds of snow on the back porch melt and reveal all the sunflower seeds we scattered there for weeks, our local birds are feasting; at breakfast the pileated woodpecker came down for a visit! I was the only one to see it, for Tim and Cedar were out seeking a sighting of a snowy owl.
A friend gave me a pair of paperwhite bulbs and I'm just about to pop them into jars and watch them grow. My body longs for living greenery. Are you doing anything to prepare for spring?
Every day in his room Cedar cooks and bakes. He knows just what he is doing and his imagination grows a little more each time. I suppose, since I'm always around, that I notice the subtle developments and they tickle me. Each day there is a new joke. When I'm at the thrift shop I scour the kitchenware for tiny utensils, pans, plates. It fulfills something in me to play with these things as well. I can be a child again next to him, and I've missed that magic land. It's as if his fairy dust settles on me when I am near him.
In past years when I've needed a true break I go to Kripalu, a yoga retreat center in western massachussettes. When I think of being there I think of compassion and peace, being supported and taken care of and with freedom to sort out my brain and come home with cleared abilities. I do not do yoga there. I sleep in the dorms and read a little at night and turn out the light early. I wake up and get dressed and take my journal, sewing, and a book down to enjoy a silent breakfast and cups of tea. I wander around the carpeted hallways and search out the sunniest rooms and read the quotes in the stairwells and feel my soul get fat and happy like a bulb feeling the rays of spring or bread rolls rising in a warm kitchen. I stare at the crystals in the gift shop and read about them. I gaze at the bunnies on the front lawn who gaze placidly back at me, tamed by years of visitor's gentleness. I go down to the sauna and take off all my clothes and go into the whirlpool and chat about life with other women of all ages and it feels medieval, biblical. So calm. I make myself do the cold water dip and my skin tingles for hours afterwards. I visit the Grandmother Elm.
I went for one night a couple of weeks ago, my first night away from home and Cedar. Driving the four hours there felt a little shaky and a lot wonderful; I knew he would have a great time with Tim. I wrote and sat for hours in the empty, sunny corner room there and followed my thought train way over the horizon and back again, writing down inconsequentials and matters of great import, furniture making plans and decorating schemes and garden structures. I let loose all that flotsam and jetsam of the complexity of mamahood and artist-being and wifeness that had been bottled up like a genie in my head, and captured it in the net of my journal.
We have received a tremendous amount, for us, of snow these past few days. Feeling a bit potbound and also happily in our home rhythm except for the times every day when I just want to hand Cedar over to someone for a few hours and go do something entirely on my own. And after it all he goes to bed utterly warm and sweet and after twenty minutes I want to go wake him up.
Tonight's moon was the largest, pinkest moon I have ever seen. And I've seen a few in my time. I had gone to the fabric store to satisfy my fabric longings and on the way home smack, rising over the road, between the snowplow mountains and the black trees: the most enormous pink moon, warped into behemoth size by the atmosphere as it rose just over the earth's curve. I just about had a heart attack and I started praying that I would get to a spot where I could stop the car and see the moonrise over an open field. I had my camera with me and with one hand I took off the lens cap and wound the film, while trying not to tailgate the car ahead of me. If you have ever photographed the moon you know you have to hurry, since even during the film exposure the moon is moving slowly, inexorably on its path, blurring your photo and changing before your eyes. I watched the color shift to a golden orange and the size slowly begin to shrink as it rose higher into the sky. I finally found a field on an empty stretch of road so stopped the car and took a photo. Which helped me to calm down. How do we hold on to these fleeting moments in life? By the time I got home the moon was caught in a thousand tree branches and shining her best in burnished ivory. Now she is small and white and distant.
Every single thing I did today brought me to that exact moment driving home when the pink moon floated into sight. People were out shoveling their parking spaces and I wanted to stop and tell them to look down the street at the sight.
I wonder how many moments like that I have missed because I didn't look up.