It’s hard to believe we’ve passed the middle of September already. Today was one of those days in which I was reminded about why I’ve loved Montana all these years. There had been a splash of rain on the stone steps early this morning, and when the sun finally rose, you could immediately tell by the light that it was going to be a quintessential brisk Fall day. You could make out all the details on the mountains across the lake and the breeze was light, and there was just enough movement on the water to see swirls and eddies and changes in color all day long. Snow is in the forecast tonight for some of our mountain tops, and a freeze is predicted for the valleys. I drove to the Northshore Farm this afternoon, knowing they’d be rushing to pull the remaining cucumbers and leeks, lettuce and peppers from the ground, before the temperature plummets. I’ve just enough cash left in my CSA to buy a big Cinderella pumpkin when they are ripe in another month.
Not that I didn’t spend some time earlier in the day, looking on Zillow for homes for sale on the sea in the Puget Sound. It was a regular thing during July when the skies here were filled with wildfire smoke. Thinking that the very first air to reach this country would be the clean, clear, cold air off the Pacific, I had an official account with Zillow and Redfin. I know there is that earthquake/tsunami threat but, still–that sea air. It could be an escape from all my troubles out there. This morning, I got a phone alert about a shooting outside a local health club, with one man dead and two others taken to the hospital with gunshot wounds. It was just the other day, while waiting in the parking lot for my take-out pizza, that I watched two different over-sized men climb into their ginormous pick up trucks, with guns on their belts, after leaving the bar.
And, there was a call this morning from my orthopedic surgeon’s office, informing me they have a rescheduled date, the first of October, for my elective hip joint replacement surgery. Maybe the third time is the charm. But, when I stopped in the pharmacy to pick up the latest prescriptions to get me by, I was, as always, the only person masked, including the pharmacists. I noticed they don’t even have those six-feet-apart dots on the carpet anymore. Our next door neighbor, Idaho, activated the “crisis of standard of care” in their hospitals today, giving them the authority to prioritize care with the limited resources at their disposal. I thought about our hospital getting those two shooting victims in the ER this morning, attended to by exhausted and overwhelmed staff. With my surgeon’s office telephoning their patients on the elective surgery list, and providing us with another opportunity, I am trusting that I was way below the people who might die from the delay.
It was nice to go to the farm and not think about all of this. I parked across the street on the road out to the waterfowl conservation zone, and walked out along the hay bales in all their different shapes. The purple asters were in bloom and I didn’t see any osprey up on their platform nests. They have left, and I didn’t even notice. It’s like losing track of whether the moon is waxing or waning. While I fret in the wee hours of the night, the Fall migration of birds is going by in the dark sky high overhead now. It’s time to pay closer attention to all of this–now, more than ever.
Tickled Pink by Kevin Kling
At times in our pink innocence, we lie fallow, composting, waiting to grow.
And other times we rush headlong like so many of our ancestors.
But rushing or fallow, it doesn’t matter
One day you’ll round a corner, you’ll blink
And something is missing
Your heart, a memory, a limb, a promise, a person
An innocence is gone
Your path, as though channeled through a spectrum, is refracted, and has left you in a new direction.
Some won’t approve
Some will want the other you
And some will cry that you’ve left it all
But what has happened, has happened, and cannot be undone.
We pay for our laughter. We pay to weep. Knowledge is not cheap.
To survive we must return to our senses…touch, taste, smell, sight, sound.
We must let our spirit guide us, our spirit that lives in breath.
With each breath we inhale, we exhale.
We inspire, we expire.
Every breath holds the possibility of a laugh, a cry, a story, a song.
Every conversation is an exchange of spirit, the words flowing bitter or sweet over the tongue.
Every scar is a monument to a battle survived.
When you’re born into loss, you grow from it.
But when you experience loss later in life, you grow toward it.
A slow move to an embrace,
An embrace that holds tight the beauty wrapped in the grotesque,
An embrace that becomes a dance, a new dance, a dance of pink.