I’ll tell you a secret … I’ve been a little distracted lately.
(Which — I’ll tell you — is a very modern and grown-up kind of brokenness.)
But today, I went for a walk in the woods — something I haven’t done for months now.
I disappeared into a hole in the trees — freckled dark shade and lush underbrush. I felt alive and at peace, and when I came out, I walked home and rustled through the bookshelves until I found this little gem by Mr. Cummings (or cummings, if you like) …
It’s a poem, but today I’m saying it like a prayer… For me and for you:
May we stay hungry and fearless and thirsty and supple, always. ❤
The green begins slow, like someone waking up after a long nap.
It spreads subtly across the forest at first: the tiniest leaves spangling the understory.
But then the grass on the lawn grows long.
The wood moss puts out furry wands tipped with tiny capsules of new life.
As for me, I go out to the back yard and cut down an armful of forsythia blooms. I bring the long stems inside, and stuff them in my great-grandmother’s blue Ball jars. Suddenly, every corner of our tiny cottage is filled with the color and scent of sunshine, green things, growing things… Life:
I rest, and say It Is Good. ❤
When the thaw happens, it happens all at once.
Almost two months ago now.
We go walking in the woods: me, T and two dear friends. New-fallen snow lines every limb and leaf. The light is pale silver; the air cold, but not too cold.
Like Winter is making up its mind.
We have the dogs with us, and they go tearing through the underbrush ahead, leaping and yelping with delight. We watch them kicking up mud and wet leaves, blackening their muzzles, and we can’t help but laugh.
After awhile, I let the others go ahead of us, chasing down the dogs, and I hang back on the trail, just looking.
The forest is profoundly quiet — the deep quiet you only hear after it snows — and I push back the furry hood of my coat just to listen to that emptiness.
I stand there for a few moments. I’m waiting for something without knowing what.
And then it comes: the thaw.
Almost all at once, the air temperature must tick up a half a degree or two, because suddenly all the snow dotting the branches liquifies. Tiny dewdrops spangle every twig.
And then — oh, God! — the sun. It stabs a long scar in the clouds and comes tearing through in solid gold bars: shooting through the treetops. Bouncing off the trunks. Catching and sizzling in the million dewdrops.
Setting them all on fire.
And now I am sitting here, months later, trying to put it into words: how paper-thin the membrane, between the dark and the light. The cold and the flame.
How fragile the cold.
How fierce and strong the Spring.
How deep and wide the joy, when at last — at last — it comes.
Happy Spring, friends. I think we made it. ❤
“I think what you notice most when you haven’t been home in a while is how much the trees have grown around your memories.” — Mitch Albom
I’ve been thinking and dreaming, scuffing around the lawn with my camera, staring up at the trees. I met my new nephew for the very first time, and watched my sweet niece tear around under the canopy, screeching and laughing the way happy children do. I walked out in the dark to the deafening chorus of the peeper-frogs in the swamp — astounded, as always, at the noisy, unashamed way they sing themselves into Spring.
And meanwhile, I’ve been thinking about what’s Next — because Home is good for that.
I’ll write more on that subject later, but for now, I thought I’d share a few brief snaps from my time here…
Take a breath this Monday morning, and enjoy:
I have spent my life in the company of those who like to talk about words. Their power (so they say) mightier than the sword.
But words are just one language, and — hear me — there are others.
Ones I am just now beginning to learn…
In the last light, I go walking down the road to the woods.
I shake the sun from my shoulders — watch it fall like glass prisms, shattering on the pavement.
(The light is only multiplied in the breaking.)
So I stand there in the circle of winking shards … and look up.
Open my arms.
This — trust me — is language.
Then, too, there is the language of flowers.
There is the language of the shutter, opening to sun. The language of paint sliding slow against canvas. The dancer’s body, turning in a slow circle.
The language of skin.
Feel my hands now, pulling you against me.
Feel my head tucked under your chin, my breath against your neck, my fingertips at your lips in the gesture of hush —
as we stand still — so still —
and the light rains down around us —
Oh, Love. Put away your sword. And just stand here with me, silent:
… speaking. ❤