Friday, July 5, 2013


I didn't have the camera with me, or even a cell phone, and that's partly why I remember.

September desperately wanted to go look for blackberries in the brambles just beyond the playground, but Andrew was camping with the twins, I was coming down with a sore throat, and Kai-kai was behaving in perfectly typical two-and-a-half-year-old fashion. The mere thought of stepping outside the house was entirely too much.

By the time he got into the dental floss, though, I realized that this was a false economy. I wasn't really up to taking them outside, but I certainly didn't have the energy to keep them cooped up.

So I helped Kai-kai put on his monkey back-pack (the one with the leash!), tucked Amos into my baby-wearing wrap, and we tumbled out the door.

The boy next door met us right there on the sidewalk, and we all tromped down to the playground together. We didn't find any blackberries, but they ran and they ran with the wild ecstasy of sheer movement. Golden hair flying, bright laughter flashing from face to face, and it was so beautiful that it almost hurt to watch.

Thick clouds were rolling in from the west, deep blue against the sunset. The proportion was so perfect that it set my whole being vibrating, like something Rothko might have painted if he could have used light instead of pigment.

Above the dark storm clouds there were light frothy ones too, pearly white and edged in gold, shot through with a hundred threads of light, opening southward at a 60 degree angle to let condensed sunshine rush through, flowing out into an infinite equilateral triangle.

I had never seen a sunset quite like that, and I was too achingly exhausted to appreciate it. I wanted to take a picture, save the moment for some other time, because here was glory and all I wanted was to fall asleep.

But night falls soon enough, and you can't put off the sunset.

Thursday, July 4, 2013


These days, I find so much comfort in our little patio garden.

The fence is lined with an almost absurdly colorful explosion of gerber daisies, impatiens, vincas, and roses, and the raised beds are filled with heaps of basil and oregano. The gangly overgrown sage that produces far more than we ever use and is always encroaching on the scraggly sparse thyme. The graceful purple-blossomed garlic makes up for the lavender that never seems to bloom, and when the wind blows, the scent of peppermint fills the patio.

The plants wilt without water, as sure as we wilt without beauty, and I drink it all in, remembering that not so long ago this space was just an ugly bare slab of concrete.

We plant and we sleep and we rise. We weed and we water but we don't know how it happens. We go to sleep and we wake up to find that morningtime and harvest emerge from the dark unknown.

And lately when I'm discouraged, I slip out for a moment into this unruly patch of bountiful order, and breathe the scent of hope.