Saturday, September 29, 2012

Here, Briefly

I have been enmeshed in my life as Nini to the Bean who is growing rapidly and is soon (we hope - baby #2 is now officially 9 days late) to become a big sister. I've been dividing my time between there (mostly) and here (least-ly), with little time to write, but Murr Brewster's very funny post put me in mind of a poem I wrote when I first noticed my "new" old self in the mirror. It's not funny, as Murr's is, but at the time I wasn't amused. In an effort to keep up I'm sharing it below.


Growing Older

Crepe used to mean paper in bright, streaming colors—
transforming the gymnasium on prom night.
Now it means skin without suppleness,
wrinkles that don’t disappear,
old age creeping across my throat and the backs of my hands,
settling in the crooks of my elbows.

Sagging used to belong to the old summer camp mattress,
all its bumps and lumps gathered at the edges
leaving an uncomfortable droop in the middle.
Now it’s my middle that droops,
like the skin on my thighs
and the wobbly tops of my arms
and both sides of my chin.

Age spots used to be something my grandmother had
and then my mother.
Now my own hands are speckled like a hen’s egg,
like a pear left too long in the sun.

Gray used to be
the color of storm clouds,
my father’s old army blanket,
the galvanized bucket in the pantry,
but not my hair,
not my very own hair which once looked
like wheat ripening in the sun.


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Short and Sweet

What I saw on my early morning walk:

a lone star sparking in the bit of navy blue sky caught in the lacy configurations of a spent lilac blossom (I like knowing the stars still shine down even in daylight)

a windblown line of clouds hurrying along the horizon while above it a large, stationary, gray cloud lurked about like the mother ship

wind that scurried by, carrying the scent of fading leaves and a hint of winter

leaves and leftover raindrops spiraling down in tandem to splash barefoot on the road

pond ripples reflecting bits of sunlight like tiny, broken mirrors

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Catching Up

Clouds sparring before a major storm. See the bear on the left and the lion on the right?
Though autumn is one of my favorite times of the year with its cooler temperatures, its winding down feeling, and its gentle introduction to a harsher season, it still makes me melancholy. Fall feels like a time of loss, of saying goodbye, of relinquishing ties to some nebulous entity that inhabits the spring and summer months.

This summer was one of extremes. High heat and humidity undid even my most valiant efforts, sending me to swoon on the sofa rather than tackle the tasks I'd set for myself once I was officially retired. It was even an effort to stand still for fifteen minutes of an evening to water the little garden plots I'd been so hopeful about in the spring, though the effort paid off in tomatoes and cucumbers and potatoes, beans and beets and swiss chard, and enough fresh herbs to grace my morning eggs and season many a dinner.

The political arena has been extreme and though I don't blog about it, the sheer craziness of some of the platform proposals has me up at night worrying about the future. I vowed several times to quit the nightly news, Facebook, and the newspaper in favor of lower blood pressure but then some blog entry or comment in the supermarket aisle or phone call from a candidate seeking reelection would send me back to the computer or the TV or the paper to see if what I was hearing was what was really being said. The one good thing that's come of all the media hype is that I've been forced to educate myself by reading as many different versions and fact-checking sources as I can find in an attempt to really understand what's going on. My concensus is that when money is the bottom line, the bottom line makes us bottom feeders. Where's a miracle when you need one?

My new schedule includes three days a week babysitting the Bean while her Mama works another few weeks before the birth of baby #2. Waking to a small voice asking for "Nini" is a delightful way to start a new day. So far I've partaken in a dozen or more tea parties, created some pretty startling clay creatures that have equally startling adventures, taken innumerable walks, read even more books, rediscovered the fun of a sandbox and the thrill of a slide, and figured out the buckles on the car seat.

If I'm slow to visit your site or even slower to post here, it isn't due to lack of interest but to a lack of time. Once Lily is born, it may seem as though I've disappeared off the face of the earth but that won't be so. I'll just be catching up on my sleep!

After the harvest it's just the flowers and me on the patio.