Tagdriftwood

Housekeeping

We seem to have survived the move. Everything is functioning, at least it seems that way. I may have missed a setting or two, but nothing apocalyptic. It’s kind of pretty, isn’t it? New design, everything a little shiny, no fingerprints yet, and an actual picture of driftwood. What more could you ask for from a new blog home?

Everything is in flux at the moment. The first job change for my husband in his professional career, happening in one week. New cat (and yes, she’s doing very well, thank you, though very different from either Cinnamon or Ripley, who I think still prowl the hall and wonder what on Earth we were thinking when we invited Coco in). New car, which doesn’t seem like it should be a big deal, unless you know two important facts. First, I am a compulsive researcher of things, and the car we bought is not what I expected to buy. Second, as a child I once hid my red winter coat in the basement of our apartment rather than let it go, despite the fact that it no longer fit me. Let’s just say that I have a tendency to cling and leave it at that.

Anyway, change is in the air. Also, colds, which is why I’m sitting here with a drippy nose and sleepy eyes. Stress and illness do love one another, don’t they? Like ivy and bricks, or peppermint and honey.

Did I mention that Coco has giant feet? She’s polydactyl, in a big way. I was told by the vet that there is a story that sailors loved to take polydactyl cats along because they believed them to be good luck. According to Wikipedia, this is true, which is about all the research I can handle today. It does feel as though we’ve taken a turn in a good direction lately. Whether it’s Coco’s doing or just the usual tide change of life, it’s much appreciated.

There’s not much else to tell from here. Only the oaks are still holding on to their leaves. Everything else has gone bone-bare, aside from the pines, of course. It’s time to den up a bit, start knitting, start baking, start watching the sky for first snow. Time for a good book or two.

Are you warm? Are you well? I hope so.

The light changes

On Tuesday I hiked along the reservoir shore with my children. I lay in the sand while they surrounded me with driftwood, became a sculpture: Mother at Rest. We found the bleached exoskeleton of a crayfish, and watched a snake curl up at the base of a tree. The loons bobbed on the waves in the distance, little more than black marks in the open water. The summer light had already broken, changed in the way that tells us to prepare, prepare, the leaves will fall, the snow will come.

It’s all so short, isn’t it?

On Wednesday I sent my son away with four other boys, two men, for five days of wilderness. Today it’s been raining on and off, and somewhere my boy has made himself a space in the woods, is warming himself by his own fire, preparing for this night, the one he will spend completely alone. Before he left, we looked each other in the eye, me looking up, because my little boy is now inches taller than I am, and what I saw was this, a boy who is less and less a boy, who needed me to see that he is straddling two worlds right now–one of driftwood sculptures and one of tending his own campsite through the night–and to begin to let go.

It is tempting to hold on too tight, to try to keep things unchanged. Stay, I long to say, stay small, stay safe, stay by my side. But we’re made to grow. As much as we seem hellbent on stasis, as much as we put all our energy into refusing change–of bodies, of hearts, of minds–we are made to grow, to learn, to evolve, right up until the end. To deny that is to bring about our own ruin.

The light changes. So do we. So does everything. Instead of stay, I say go, I will be here when you come back, to hear your stories, to help you ready for your next step away. I will try to make this world a better place to go out into, and I will try help you learn to stay open, to hear, to carry compassion with you, to know that laughter doesn’t stay, but neither does tears.

Go. Be bold. Be brave. You are loved.

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