Comings and goings

coming home mid-march - 103.17.19

I have come back to home.  The lake is still frozen solid, and while the snow depth looks unchanged, water is pouring off the roof in the afternoon sunshine with above freezing temperatures.  Tall berms of dirty snow narrow the roads and block the intersections, but the pavement is mercifully dry.  I heard new bird songs on my morning walk, and with the spring equinox a mere three days away, there is now hope in the air.  The moon will become full–a supermoon, no less–on the equinox, an occurrence which only happens three times a century.  Already, in the middle of the night, it looked like spotlights were suddenly beaming down from the sky, illuminating the world of white snow and white ice which surround my house.   We have turned the corner now–you can clearly sense it.

I feel like I was gone a long time, though it was shy of two weeks.  The Arizona desert was just coming into bloom, and Carol and I hiked through fields of poppies and up to grand vistas of the brilliant blue sky.  We eat great food, shopped, and talked endlessly, as good girlfriends do together.  In Berkeley, there were many days in which I walked Eamon home from school and the clear air was filled with spring scents and happy birds.  As my youngest grandchild, he is the only one left who stops to smell and touch the flowers, and ask me their names.  I know how fleeting and precious this time is, after witnessing how quickly my other five grandchildren have blossomed into their own lives and their private spaces, as is the natural order of things.

With Don still in Norway, and one kitty missing, it’s a bit lonely here.  But, it always feels like a relief to come home, to settle back down into my homeplace, after fluttering my wings out there in the world.  The grandfather clock’s ticking and chimes seem to bring my heart back into a softer rhythm, and I have my own private space after time away, to come home to myself again, and see what’s new there.

                                       May you travel in an awakened way,
                                       Gathered wisely into your inner ground;
                                       That you may not waste the invitations
                                       Which wait along the way to transform you.
                                       May you travel safely, arrive refreshed,
                                       And live your time away to its fullest;
                                       Return home more enriched, and free
                                       To balance the gift of days which call you.
                                       —John O’Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us



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