Thank goodness that fall is here. This summer was such a long, hot, moldy, unhappy struggle. I feel like I lost so many things, and floundered around and failed. There was never enough time or energy to do what I wanted and needed to do, never enough to go around, things breaking, and heaps of dirty, sopping laundry always blocking my way. (this is why I haven’t written in so long. If I had before, it would have been all about the dirty laundry).
This evening I was sitting, for the first time in a long, long time, in the cherry grove, looking up at the branches of those four special trees, now all tattered with fall, thinking how good it felt to be alone and to let go of old things, old failures, and let them flutter away in the gray breeze. It’s felt so strange and awkward for me to be around other people this year. I feel like I’ve had some heavy, unexpressed unhappiness dragging down at my heart. The kind of thing other people don’t understand, and don’t want to hear about, and you have to just keep to yourself. They can always sense it, though, and it makes it awkward to pretend it’s not there, to be cheerful and undaunted and friendly despite it tugging away.
I thought for a long time about when my favorite kitty, Ginger, who disappeared this spring, would join me there, pricking his claws on the bark and staring at me with his beautiful golden eyes. We were soul mates, Ginger and I. He is one of the lost things I regret so much. I wish he could snuggle purring into my hair just once more. How much comfort that little creature brought me!
I’ve spent the summer coming to terms with the world with how it is now, and people, the way they are now. In some ways, they haven’t changed at all – you just get to see the basic character of them in horrible detail you’d rather not have seen – like being at a nude beach. No, this sort of thing isn’t new.
It’s just beginning, really. We are at the cusp of a new age, hovering at the edge of things falling apart, and shining-eyed jaguars have haunted my dreams as a warning. New days, new ways. Old things won’t work any more. You have to just plunge in and figure it all out, find out what’s really true and what is an illusion. It’s deadly to tread the wrong path, but there’s nothing for it but courage and hope – a candle flame and the flutter of a bird’s wing.
I am grateful for all my years of gardening, and the experiences with failure I’ve gotten. Because you just can’t give up. You have to keep trying and learning. And some day you will look around and things will be green and beautiful. You house will be full of pumpkins and jars of grains. People will ask you questions, and baffled, you will try to form your decade of failures into a coherent sentence.
It was so quiet in the cherry grove as I thought these thoughts to myself – so peaceful. Like the quiet calm before a storm, but I didn’t care. I still cherished the silence. So much of life is holding on to what little you are given, gratefully, no matter how unfairly meager your portion be. It’s something that can never be taken away.
I’m so grateful for a fresh season with fall!