As a workaholic, I seldom indulge in sitting on my back porch to enjoy a perfect morning.
Today it is cool and breezy, the lawnmowers have not yet started up, but the noise from the birds, cicadas and wind chimes approaches a din. Next to me, Radley is in the sun, chewing on a stick that he found in the yard. A clear vase on the table is crammed with long vines, cascading all the way to the ground, preparing to grow their roots into a new part of the yard where I have detected an aesthetic void. The network of cobwebs on the porch is like a scrim, completely invisible until the sun hits it just right, and then they suddenly appear, everywhere. In Disneyesque fashion, two chipmunks are jumping from log to log in the woodpile. The grapes are just about ready, each heavy cluster lovingly tied with household string around an inflated paper bag, my husband’s invention to keep the birds from stealing them before they ripen. Tomatoes, on the other hand, must be picked every morning now. In the corner of the yard, a plank and rope swing that my husband put up for me only last month is swaying ever so slightly. I requested it mainly to use at night, but the day that he finally put it up, he was home for a late lunch: it was two in the afternoon and he was pushing me in it.... higher and higher, laughing, when some city surveyors walked through our neighbor’s yard. I suddenly felt like I was in a Watteau painting, frivolous and idle in the middle of the day. The newlywed era of our lives.
When I hear a single engine plane flying overhead, I am filled with a depth of longing one rarely feels in adult life. It takes everything I have not to jump in the car and drive to the tiny airport, ready to bribe anyone for a ride. This is my standard airborne addict response to the sound, but today it is even more powerful. Take me away please, because the earth is shifting under my feet, and I want to watch it from above, rather than feeling firsthand the jolts and loss of balance. The earthquake was sudden and unexpected, but unlike a natural disaster, the plates are still shifting, and where we will land has not yet been determined. In the coming months, the challenge is to keep my sea legs, with eyes on the horizon, as the impending upheaval begins.
My husband and I share a faith that most unfortunate events ultimately take you to a better place. We are both ambitious and work our asses off, and so career-wise, every time we have left one situation, it was to go to a better one, so there is a part of me that is excited about the prospect of a new adventure. But this morning, I am filled with the profound observation, appreciation and sensual imprinting that is present only when you know that something is coming to an end.
Labels: life change