“You cannot stop time but only stretch it with the fabrics of attention and perception and listening.” ~ Jeffrey Davis (via Kim Manley Ort)
In the stillness of an otherwise soundless night, I awakened to the wind outside my window. I had seen stars in the sky at some point, and the twinkling lights across the lake were still visible, so this sudden gale seemed to come out of nowhere, unpredicted. It felt strange, important even, in the middle of the night. I lay there a long time, waiting for a rain storm or some consequence to follow the wind. But, soon, as quickly as it had arrived at my shore, it was gone. Just a simple coup de vent–a gust of wind.
Duncan and Anna had suggested Coup de Vent as a name for our new sailboat. A week ago, all of us sat around a big table for dinner together at Chico Hot Springs, in celebration of the May birthdays: Me, Don, Rich, Fletcher and Duncan. We told stories about Fletcher’s birth, and how Rich and I “celebrated” Fletcher’s third birthday at Chuckecheese while Joy was hospitalized with pregnancy complications, before giving birth to Duncan, a month too soon. We were so scared. Yet, here we all were, on my 70th birthday, together, healthy, safe, and happy. We shared plans for the upcoming summer, and Don and I talked about how we needed to come up with a name for our new boat. We wanted something French–joie de vivre, or heures de joie, perhaps. Looking up from their smart phone research, Duncan and Anna suggested coup de vent.
As I lay awake in bed, I kept saying to myself, with my “best” French accent, “coup de vent”, and thought about the impermanence of the gust of wind which had awakened me. And, about how much time has gone by since Fletcher’s birth on that lilac-filled day in May, and what it felt like to rock him to sleep in his little blue nursery with golden twilight coming through the lace curtains. These sixteen years have blown by so fast, so fast. All I can do is pay attention, and listen, and listen.