You were a test I’m not sure I passed. I survived, though, and am more than ready to say goodbye. It’s not that you weren’t peppered with beautiful happenings. You know, and I know, that they were there. I have been grateful for these things. I was published! I met beautiful people at Squam! I’m still processing a bumper crop of garlic! Two evil kittens were acquired! Love grew, and so did my boy! There are so many more things I could punctuate with joyful exclamation, but man, the not-so-great things? They were really fucking harsh. Seriously. Even with all the fantastic things, I can put this down as the most difficult year of my life, hands down.
So, today, on New Year’s Day, I will make lentil soup for luck and prosperity, probably something like this one, because I’m Italian and that’s what we do. I will finish up a few lingering creative projects, like my Autumn poem, so I can say goodbye to that, too. I will make lists. I will clean the house. I will change the water in the aquarium, because axolotls must also enjoy a fresh new start. I will pat the goats and coo at the ducks. I will finalize my list of reasonable goals. I will play games with my son and it will be a full, full day, but not in an uncomfortable way. Rather, in an overstuffed chair kind of way.
I’ll try my best, 2013, to hold only your goodness in the moving forward.
And there you have it, my word for 2014: FORWARD.
What’s your word?
Solstice came and went in a haze of nasty-head-cold-brain, misty rain, and spilled tea. It also came with silver linings, pumpkin soup, rainbow birthday candles in the Yule log, and lovely neighbors bearing guacamole and pineapple.
It’s usually the day I spend setting down my intentions for the new year, but I needed rest, and that’s okay. I can do that today or tomorrow or the next day, and it will be okay. Certainly, one of the key themes for 2014 will be gentleness. 2013 was full of sharp edges, and some of them, perhaps most of them, were honed on my own strop.
I’m ready for rounded corners, clear direction, and fair winds to bear me. I’m ready to be kind to myself, to give more, and to connect more deeply with my community. I’m ready to forgive myself for not being where I thought I would be when, long ago, I imagined my life at 35.
I can release the clamps, and the glue will hold.
I fold it carefully.
It must be just so, or next summer we will pull a tangled mess from the box.
I place it inside, and it’s like putting a tent and its poles back into the stuff sack at the end of a camping trip…the triumphant moment when it all fits, just so.
The writing on the box tells me that I hold in my hands a piece of Mayan culture, that it took 15 days of full-time work to create this hammock, and that I can enjoy it strung between palm trees.
I look at the maples around me, the chicken shit on the porch, and wonder if this is not quite the setting the author had in mind.
We used to have it in our house. In a living room 3000 miles away. The words on the box tell me I can enjoy a “great nap” in this piece of Mayan culture. I think of all the times I lay in it, in that living room 3000 miles away, with my sleeping baby on my chest.
I fast forward to the shit-covered porch: the baby is now grown into a boy of seven. It is summertime, and when he is not swinging and laughing with friends in the hammock’s colorful embrace, he rests quietly in it, on his papa’s chest.
Yes, I think this is exactly what the author had in mind.
I tuck the flaps and place the box reverently on the closet floor. I scrape and sweep the porch, shoo the chickens, and prepare to stack the wood for winter.
*eta: The box actually says Hamaca Maya, but when I take it out each summer, I sing a little song, and it always comes out Hamaca Maca. I don’t know why.
The geese tromped merrily through, the cat was utterly befuddled, and the humans resigned themselves to bringing the winter boots down from the attic. The wood stove took the edge off a few bitter-cold mornings, the afternoon sun chipped away at the thick blanket of freak October snow, and then…it was Autumn again.
Just like that.
There is an autumnal to-do list filling my plate this week that includes raking, canning pears, crock-pot apple butter, and…freshening up this here blog. It needs prettying and has a woefully expired events list. How would you know about things like Twist Fair THIS WEEKEND? I have been stockpiling lovely things and hope to see you there.
Stay tuned for a more user-friendly experience, and in the meantime, I’ll be holding a drawing for a gift certificate when the ol’ FB page hits 400 likes. Just sayin’.