What my lens acquires in early March is usually winter weary images of snow – snowflakes falling out of the sky, snow on the trees and in the garden, deep clean snow wrapping the countryside. Along comes a brief poem by Wendell Berry, and it makes winter new again for me, reawakens my pleasure in what is happening beyond the windows and over the hill. However many meditations on snow I found myself doing this winter (and there were many), I don’t think I ever considered it in such rare and eloquent light.
I watched this twirly thing hanging on our front porch as the wind sent it spinning first one direction and then the other. I’ve felt a bit this way myself over the last week. Sometimes life hands me too many opportunities all at once, and I’m not willing to say “no” to any of them. Each one is so inviting, but gathered together they can be overwhelming.
Maybe it’s just a matter of timing. If only I had spread things out rather than allowing them to bunch up as they have… If just I had planned better instead of allowing life’s happenings to come so quickly one upon the other… Not so. The wind will continue to blow, and it will change directions. I either need to get better at spinning or get out of the wind sometimes.
This boat has seen better days. But, here it sits in its afterlife, floating on dry land, next to a brick building in a Florida coastal town my friend, Becky, and I visited recently. Becky and I go way back, each of us offering support to the other in troubled times, and finding fun when life allowed. What amazing lifelines have been my women friends!
Today I am alone, sitting on the grimy steps of a rental property I am renovating, pushing myself to stay here, pick up this brush, and slap some paint on the bathroom walls. What I’d like to do is go home, curl into a ball, and find some peace of mind. I’ve been churned up since last night after a troubling call from a client; and I’ve been paddling upstream for many days in an effort to resolve my distress over family matters. In short, I’m a mess.
Through the years, I’ve acquired more self-reliance than I had in the past. I know how to hang onto the paddle and just keep rowing—solo—through the churning waves. Eventually, the sun shines, the storm is just a silly ghost, and the reflection off the water blazes beauty and life.
Today, though, the churning in my belly is too much. What I need is a friend. It is Paula whom I call. She listens, gently inserts her thoughts, and listens some more. Gradually, like that old boat, I feel the ground beneath me, and know I can, for one more day, keep floating on this land.