“I’m going out for a while. If the baby wakes up fussy, someone just pick her up and love her.” her mother said to a group—some friends, some acquaintances, some strangers. The words have been playing over in my mind. The most simple, most considerate request a mother could make.
“Just love her.”
Why do we ever make life more complicated than that?
There is a fire starting in the forest. The late sun touches the tallest tips of branches and the golden light spreads down a hundred feet. Ready leaves ignite in a flame of burnt orange, amber, and pastel yellow. Autumn is just starting to appear. I have been in Vermont for a month and a half. I feel that I have learned all that the people I am with can teach me, but the trees and the land have just started to lecture. Which color belongs to which leaf and which leaf belongs to which tree? All the sudden I have to know; I desire to know. Something hidden deep within the earth sprouted and grew up while waiting for me to find it. A tree of silver, a copper bark. These are things of another place calling out to me, trying to teach me something . I am ashamed now to have ever sat and pondered under a tree without knowing its name, without first being properly introduced.
Here, there are hills of great trees as far as the eye can see. Purple has sprouted on the hilltops. Like an army moving toward an invasion, I can see the signs but I stand paralyzed, foolishly unprepared. I do not even know the ground underneath my feet. On this September day I sit in the shade of a Sugar Maple by a weather-stained barn. The grass is dry and soft with hundreds of seedlings around me. Tiny pines, tiny ferns, small clovers all looking up at me saying, “Don’t you know who I am?”
In the field are flowers of yellow, with individual purple clovers spotting the scene. And there is one small flower of golden red. I have never seen it before, and yet, it seems to know its place in this world more confidently than I. One glorious reddened flower enjoying the breeze and the sunshine on an Autumn day.
I, Sabrina, have been adventuring all about this summer. My writing has been slim and insignificant while my eyes and mind and skin have been prickled by the rains and winds of the Appalachian forest, the high tops of the mountains of the East Coast, and the serene sunset over the countryside of Maine. I have much to think about, much to write about, and much to remember. Here’s to summertime wandering….
Four men stood in a circle on the side of a street on a sunny morning. The little town was just starting to go to work. I drove by quietly on my way to my appointment. They were all looking down.
“I think it’s a hole,” Joe said.
“Well…that’s what a hole looks like to me,” responded Jeff.
One man stood silent but nodded his head.
Larry chimed in, “Ya’ know, that’s a hole if I ever saw one.”
All four men mumbled in agreement.
An hour passed, and I made my way back home. Four men stood in a circle on the side of the street looking down.
“I’d say it’s a pretty deep hole, if you ask me.”
Flower seeds on a wire rack. How does one put them on? How does one take them off? Do they grow there? Flower seeds rotating in space. Digitalis purpurea, myosotis alpestris, Bellis annua. Each tiny grain more delicate than the first. Unending is the cycle of growth. It never stops rotating.
Here is a blue petal. Light blue—the thing of clouds. Blue petals drop on the ground by their sisters. Blue gives way to brown; brown gives way to green. This episode travels through the world with a free-pass ticket—no expiration date. Petals fall to the ground and dream their way to a wire rack stand.
The trees bleed green for the girl on the swing. It’s a picture perfect scene—a clear creek rolling through, a breeze riding the back of the sun. Her bare feet stick out from the layered skirt and drag through the grass as her dark hair flows behind her. Then you see how it really is a picture. You pick up the horizon and watch the edges curl in your hand. The color runs and drys in splotches. The paper flakes specks of paint. The light has faded the skin, leaving an empty face. Dust covers the sky. Held at an angle, the trees are over-powering, closing in. Soon grass and wood and water will rise up, and the girl will swing on, motionless. The painting is old, very old. Any living thing at the point of conception has passed into darkness. You hastily drop the picture, but it is too late. A coldness lingers, a chilly breath. You are mortal, too. On the floor, the girl keeps swinging. You watch her swing; you watch her fade. Already you are stained paper, waiting to dry and wrinkle.
An open book, an open page. Turning each leaf carefully and with slow concentration. I don’t know how this story ends, but I want to.