This January day remained still and gentle; no movements save for quiet game and silent bird. Weak winter Sun barely crept across the sky. The shadows barely shifted even though surely hours and hours have passed… A figure stood still as well, positioned at the edge of some meadow. That figure was me, and I came here planning to stay for a long while. I stood for so long that when I looked at my feet, I found that they had settled themselves deeper into the snow, nearly covering my boots, making me appear planted like a tree; now just part of the scenery. Starlings followed noiseless, mad paths across my vision, jaunty and unconcerned. (Joyful?) Later, in direct contrast, a silver thread from a spider drifted slowly, smoothly through the air, catching the light- focused, but timeless.
Frozen flakes had fallen from the surrounding trees and settled across my cold nose and reddened cheeks. I stood all day, even though my legs were not strong like tree trunks. I stayed until the sunlight began to wan, and I stayed even though it started to hurt. Now I had that feeling like when you try to hold your hand against a hot surface for as long as possible, fighting against the desire to pull back your hand and flee. I stared at the dimming horizon behind the trees and wondered if the night would feel as long as the morning. I wondered where my silver-strand friend had eventually settled. I felt intimate with her because I watched her drift for so many hours, and nothing else seemed as important as wondering where the breeze was taking her to rest. I liked that my thoughts had grown that simple, that immediate-that my crazy world had reduced down to the size of this meadow.
Winter Moon was as bright across the snow as the sun was weak and the snow refracted her light justly. Those Stars shimmered loudly, demanding my full attention. This sweeping canopy of light and dark and movement seemed to drown out the darkness that pressed in from behind and beside me. I watched Orion move with slow confidence and unaffected manner across the firmament. I blew frosted breath across the constellation, pretending that I was actually obstructing the warrior’s vision-that I had disturbed him. I pulled my hat down tighter over my ears and scooted down deeper into my sleeping bag.
I am still here, I just need some rest…
How nice it would be if we really could sneak away for a day and force ourselves to center THAT MUCH… How nice it would be if we could have regular moments of reprieve from weights and cares and responsibilities that don’t always feel so life giving. I’d like to think that I could stay that stilled for that long, but honestly, most of us live at such a momentum that I’m not sure if I could dwell for that long and not go crazy trying to not think about the fact that I need to change my oil, that I’m out of lettuce, and that I need to catch up on left voicemails and even worse- I’m probably missing important calls as I’m blowing cold air into Orion’s face… How can we enjoy these moments when there’s so much to do??!!
I have no idea, but I want to work on cultivating that kind of stillness. Even if most of my moments are only about the length of time I can hold my breath. Finding the time to write and dream and explore the desires I have for my personal future are a way for me to do that. I desire to be known, and I desire to be that transparent, even if it’s a little nonsensical. Blogs about “centering,” “living simply,” “returning to the land,” “homesteading-even-if-you-don’t-have-property-but-you-still-want-to-be-that-incredibly-hot-and-‘found’-woman-that-gardens-and-raises-chickens,” and oh, the fantasy of not having to realize your dream in a state of singledom… I’ve read them all and been inspired and copied dozens of dreamy photos onto my computer and otherwise lived vicariously through strange lives viewed from the comfort of my own couch.
Happily, after years of this wistful and sometimes painful period of “waiting for my life to start,” I have suddenly found myself right in the middle of found desire and I don’t want to miss it and I want my chance to write about all the silly little things that I have, until this point, been content to only read about; thinking, “someday…someday…someday…”
In Richard LaGravenese’s film P.S. I Love You, Hilary Swank’s character Holly comments to her husband that sometimes when she sees other people’s lives she gets so afraid that their own lives will never start…to which her husband replies,”We’re already IN our life- it’s already started- this is it…you have to stop waiting.” Two days ago, my love told me the same thing…I have to stop waiting and live our life now.
Yes…think of the North Country; with Sorrels and crusty snow, howling winds and salmon-colored sunsets…there, we just had a moment…