… on clarity in the midst of bustling joy
July 30, 2017
The day before yesterday… was it the day before yesterday? I don’t even know.
Anyway, one of the days before today, I was writing about our trip to Monhegan and how it was kind of incredible because it was like we were tucked into a fog bank all day long. I marveled at the fact that, when we were coming back into the harbor at the end of the day, we cruised out of this thick wall of fog and into a clear, blue-skied late afternoon.
It had been a great day.
And suddenly it was a clear day.
Just after we got back from the trip, we headed over to one of our ‘go to’ hang outs – The Lobster Dock – for an early dinner, and we looked back on the fog bank we’d spent the last eight hours in.
Let me see if I can find one with a wider view…
Aha! Yep, here:
Way off in the distance is the same cruise ship, sort of half obscured by the fog. But look at the whole bank. It was practically a solid!
Also, the photo kind of proves that there was always blue sky above the dense fog. We just couldn’t see it. I’m just sayin’.
When writing on the day that isn’t today, I said I felt that the figurative fog in my life of late – fog infused with joy and excitement, but also very thick with activity – and that fog was beginning to lift too.
Pause for the sake of pausing.
Yesterday, the Nearly Perfect Husband asked me to breakfast. Just him and me, downtown, for omelets.
It was a bit of a jarring request!
For weeks and weeks we have been in the company of others as we’ve flurried about, hither and thither, moving and wedding-ing. Several times along the weeks, JoHn actually stopped to shake my hand and introduce himself, lest I forget I am married (which he feared I was prone to do, knowing – as he does – this frolicsome mind of mine).
But luckily I did remember we are married, and so we had a great breakfast.
We talked about actually being in Maine and how we are just beginning to discover our routines here.
We talked about empty nests and the sandwich generation and friends at the same points in their lives, different situations, different challenges and rejoice-en-ings.
We talked about kids growing up but that we never stop being parents, and how the dogs are growing up but that they never stop needing training (more on that soon).
And we sighed.
The good kind of sigh.
When we were done, we stepped out into the sunshine and blue skies, a gorgeous harbor just a few skips away.
We didn’t come up here with the idea to retire, early or ever. Nor can we ever really imagine ourselves retired.
In addition to his ‘day job’, JoHn is also working on that creepy murder book we started together so long ago (I also talked about it here), and is nearly done (wahoo!). I abandoned said book years ago because I suddenly realized that, while JoHn was really keen on writing a creepy, tense, suspenseful thriller, I seemed far too focused on carefully creating – and subsequently falling in love with – the characters.
And then JoHn would kill them.
Had I continued writing that genre, I was doomed to a life of conflict and grief… “Don’t kill my darlings!”)
He can murder anyone. No problem.
I sleep with one eye open at all times.
My own preference was, and is, to write about what I continue to call this ongoing silly circus we call life. The thrills and triumphs and near misses and catastrophes. All of it.
Served up with a side of idiosyncratic wonder, of course.
And, sure, maybe a scoop of irreverence.
Fast forward as we wrote when we could, around and over and through elementary school kids and middle school kids and high school kids (and the addition of a half kid) and learning disabilities and physical disabilities and just a few near-death emergencies and conditions and caring for the Old Yankee Man and… well… the wonderful and good and tragic and tough – and everything in between – of life.
Eventually, back in 2014, I launched these ponderings here, with butterflies in my belly, but also hopes and dreams and a bit of sweat toward publishing in other places one day too, including books. Ones I imagine will be rich in quirky inspiration and decidedly lacking in murder and guts and stuff.
Back to the sunny blue skies, and walking the street hand in hand yesterday morning….
We were happily and unhurriedly making our way along an uneven brick sidewalk, past JoHn’s favorite coffee spot – where the owner now knows his name, much to his delight.
We ran into friends (and neighbors) who’d popped into town on an errand with their two dogs, and we exchanged respective current events and happenings, full of visitors and family activity. Then we separated with ‘see you back home!’.
Then my thoughts suddenly and unexpectedly wandered into that gloriously simplified mind space where the world and paths forward seem full of only fresh clear air and possibility.
Which is the perfect environment for Gratitude, who brought along Anticipation and Promise for good measure.
I know how amazing is it to be able to call this place home – this part of the world that soothes my soul with its rocky shores, tide pools, open sea… and fog so tenacious it will crawl over trees to make it into our cove.
The Move and The Wedding are now behind us, busily spinning themselves into amalgamations of memory gold.
The kids are busy crafting the next chapters of their own lives, as we are – if just a bit more literally – writing ours.
More figuratively for JoHn, really. You don’t want someone crafting the motivations behind lunatic killers writing the script for your life.
I suddenly felt so inspired.
As we walked, it was as if I could feel the both of us relaxing into the beginnings of this new life and getting ready to embrace it.
Mentally buckling up, shifting into ‘drive’.
Both hands on the wheel.
Pressing down on the gas pedal, gently at first.
Turning to each other, as we have so often at the beginning of a great adventure…
‘Here we go…”
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