Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Catching Breath

I didn't realize it had been over a week since I posted here. I don't think I've ever neglected this blog in such a way. But in the last 5 days I've graded 80 essays, been attempting to apply for academic teaching jobs (which cycle around only once a year, in the fall), mowed the lawn for the first time since early July, and have attempted to clean up garden tools and containers while gathering seed before the goldfinches take it all--which they already have I suppose.


I've also been working on a gardening book proposal here and there, in 30 minute snippets, as well as trying to think about the next writing stages of the Oklahoma memoir. I never believed my parents and aunts when they told me life gets faster year by year. I thought, oh, maybe every 5-10 years. But as April turns into October (what year I don't know anymore), I'm faced with one truth more and more--carpe diem. I'm not carping well. You really really do have to work to carpe, you have to will it and force in moments. Balance has nothing to do with equality and everything to do with catching your breath for a moment. Hence I'm here.


I've been admiring the fall garden, how it slides so quickly yet accurately from full outward life to inward--how like an introvert, how like me, it puts away the facade and once again quiets itself to center and gather over a winter. I've come to cherish winter now, too--the time, the reflection, knowing that it will very soon be spring again and I'll be called outside, which is both a working inward and outward from myself. The garden is one key part to who I am, and yet so is the writing. It is time for writing, to carpe in a different way again.


I don't know if everything works out, but I have this incurable sense that it will, that a storm of purpose and direction is gathering around me and all I have to do is show up and be ready to ride the wind home. Yes, that's ALL I or anyone has to do. I hear a blue jay calling from the elm, and see a flash of red from a house finch. A last green tomato is on the vine. The fog and mist is heavy today but it holds me close to home. I swear that even as I write these words I can smell the rich soil of home in Minnesota and the tinny soil of home in Oklahoma like two halves to a mystery coming together here in Nebraska. This is how it feels to put your hand into dirt at the end of a garden year and know time and place are illusions.

4 comments:

Diana of Elephants Eye said...

two halves to a mystery coming together here - I'll take that as an omen for my 'it's complicated' life.

Martha said...

Yes, everything works out ... one way or another.
Someone as close to nature and beauty as you obviously are, knows that in his heart.

Shyrlene said...

Poignant post. Not that it would be a surprise to you, but you have such a gift to share - with word & thought. Thanks for sharing your eloquence.

Benjamin Vogt said...

I love reading your comments! Almost, almost makes me believe in this blog (we all go through blog ruts, don't we?). Maybe I need to rant about something again, ruffle some feathers....