I want to go on record as saying this is the most beautiful fall ever. It is. The colors, the light, the crisp, cold air accompanying it all, is pure perfection. I walk the dog and sit on the bench at the pond and watch the ducks play and I breathe deep. One day we spot a heron and I stand, following him with my hand over my eyes to shield the bright, fall sun. I am mesmerized by his long wing-span and his grace.
Later in the week we walk the trail along the river and head off the main trail to sit on the beautiful rock, we found last summer, that overlooks the river. I crave the alone time. The river is powerful and high; the water rushing by with force so loud I can hear nothing else. I watch for salmon, fighting their way up stream to the calm of the riverbed. I know they are there, beneath the rolling river, determined to make it home, but I don't spot a one. Later, we jog across the road, to where the river is calm, and I see a dozen or so. Their molting red bodies beaten up by their long joinery from the ocean. Some full of determination, others stuck along the bank of the river, the fight gone out of them.
I think about my mother a lot, which is odd as I am elbow deep in sourdough bread baking and fish (both passed down to me through my father). My heart aches to talk with her, so badly it actually hurts. I yearn to ask her things I never thought of before her death 15+ years ago. I see clearly now that the fight for a life of her own left her at some point. She tried hard for so long and then she slowly just closed up, giving less and less of herself to us. She shut us out, not physically, we saw her, but she stopped sharing that intimate side of herself: her dreams, her goals, her curiosity and her joy. It seems she came to a space where she accepted what was real, and let it be. She was done fighting the current. I want to ask her why? And, I want to know what to do next.
"It is those we live with and love and should know who elude us?"
~ Norman Maclean
Why do we keep fighting the current? Why do we power thought life, over rocky shores and forces that roar so loud we can't hear or think of anything else? And more importantly, how do we make it upstream without getting caught on the side of the bank, beat up and unrecognizable?
Sometimes I become so exhausted I lose site of the everyday beauty of my life and need something to jolt me awake. It does not have to be mind-blowing, but it does have to be something that slows me down enough to notice. Walking near the water beckons me to pause and sit with the truth, being open and respectful to myself.
I find myself in a place now where I understand I must accept what is real with compassion and reverence for both myself and others. I am at somewhat of a crossroads and my curiosity about my choices, and what path to take could use a little Mom advice. So, I walk the river and talk with her. I feel her telling me to relax a bit, but not so much I become complacent or give in. But to allow it some time to flow into something new.
Speaking of something new, I post my very first essay on Hello There, Friend this coming Thursday. I am honored and excited and bit terrified to be part of this talented group of writers. I must say it was mind-blowing to see my photo, next to my bio with the byline writer next to it.
I would love it if you popped over on Thursday to leave me a bit of love. In fact, I hope you will check in every Tuesday and Thursday for some beautiful writing from the heart.