Clear Water - No Front, No Back
[Take what you need.]
The perspiration on my shoulders was abruptly replaced by the coolness and shortened days of autumn. It happened almost over night - or so it seemed. The leaves on the juvenile Quaking Aspen trees located a short distance, diagonally, from the entryway to my home were quickly goldening and shimmering as they trembled against the sky - a reminder of the gifts of decay and death. Winter brought with it wool sweaters, covered feet, and stovetops heating water until the molecules contained inside fattened and whistled across our darkened A.M. kitchen. More time spent inside, admiring the phenomena of what Boiseans call the “inversion.” A magnificent hybrid of grey and brown that hangs, canopy-like, over the valley. Everything is shadowed. Our summer succulents sit inside, nestled up cozily against our big bay windows, facing east - filling our front room with greenery, and doing what growing things do. Leaning into what is available. Taking what is needed. Sunlight, water, air, protection, rest, warmth, being tended to - and tending to the tender, magic. Some plants seem healthier than others. I wonder what this all means. What would the plants say about the people in this home? I wonder this too. Perhaps they, too, say, in faint whispers, “Some people seem healthier than others.”
I write in my journal, “How did we fill this home up with so many growing things when we arrived here in this desert called Idaho?” How do I feel/fill myself up with growing things? How do you?
Walking to a pond with my daughter on a recent Sunday evening, it is obvious that winter is collapsing into the equinox of spring. She points out tulips, daffodils and what appear to be young shoots of hyacinth. We are barefoot and the ground feels both cool and comfortable against our skin; and the sun hangs above the horizon past her bedtime. We marvel at the frosty blueness of the sky - a blue that never seemed to exist in our former landscape - the full moon cradled by the ridge of mountains framing the eastern expanse and all of those yawning people, somewhere between wakefulness and dreams. It feels so good to be alive - placing our naked feet into the cold mud; pushing our way past bent cattails, until we kneel at the water’s edge. Covered over by coupled mallards, shadows and reflected light. Doing what growing things do. Taking what is needed.
Take what is needed:
a peaceful heart
to let go in the fiercest of ways
to be tended to
to be touched in the safest of ways
to receive abundantly
to give openly
to be seen
to be held
to love my body
to be okay not knowing
to say yes to myself
to feel deeply
to be kinder to myself
to say the things I am afraid to say to others
to love more generously
And soon, this season too, will give way to something new. This is just how things are.
Planting —— birth —— seedling —— growing ——- flowering ——- decaying ——- death —— resting.