There is something wondrously cool about
Just to be all kinds of honest and authentic, that – up there ^ – is not a tulip I grew. It is, however, a tulip I received – from my loving husband and daughter – just the other day. I wasn’t sure if it was appropriate for our G-rated Just Ponderin’ site, because you can see all the tulip’s private sexy bits.
I think you can handle it.
Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.
There is something magically cool about living in a seasonal community all year ’round.
Here, on our little peninsula in midcoast Maine, spring’s alarm clock starts the yawning and stretching and slow marching toward coffee for four towns whose collective population is about to swell from about 10,000 to more than 30,000 over the course of eight or so weeks.
Last spring, meaning the spring of 2018, was our first spring here as ‘year-roundahs’. It was a beautiful spring, mud and all, but it also tip-toed among the layers of our heavy hearts and shifting world following Granny’s departure from this gorgeous blue orb. As with so many days and weeks and months following the absenting of someone we love from everyday ordinaries, things were… blurry.
So, though I saw all the signs of our little community waking up last year, as I drove down our streets and avenues, I think my heart and soul were too distracted to actually feel it.
But a recent clearing of my mind’s cobwebs has me noticing, with a smile on my face, all the folks behind the doors and windows of cafes and shops and restaurants and galleries that have been closed up tight since last fall. I can feel the energies shifting… People carrying stuff in, and carrying stuff out. Nods and greetings as places and spaces are cleaned and freshened. The readying of their establishments, and themselves, for the ‘summer people’ – both seasonal residents and visitors from near and far (all of whom, including anyone living here – but not born here – are ‘from away’).
The Nearly Perfect Husband, also known as JoHn, has come home several times from his afternoon visit to a favorite coffee haunt that allows him the luxury of off-season access (don’t ask because its super duper top-secret), reporting that the owners are painting and spiffing and organizing their way toward a mid-April opening.
As an aside, all that chin-waggin’ he’s doing at the coffee place has pretty much quintupled the length of his afternoon skips into town, which has been noticed by one small-ish German ShepHerd Dog (that would be Marshal Dillon Dingle), who amps up his excitement of ‘Daddy’ coming home to match the increased time that ‘Daddy’ has been away. Blaze has simply noted the change in his schedule and made the appropriate notations in her brain-based ledger (probably applying logarithms and stuff).
It’s been more than a year since Granny left us, following the Old Yankee Man to Places Beyond (which will never be the same, and have probably experienced a spike in projects not quite meeting the specs of The Management (“I know you said you wanted this, but…”).
I still feel like I’m just starting to get a handle on the fact that they are gone, and what that even means to our lives. I also admit, with a strange combination of ease and disquietude, that I’ve had more than one (or two or three or…) false starts… or maybe steps forward followed by steps backward (or sideways) as I’ve been processing it all.
As my brain was busy filtering and distilling and purifying (and then unpurifying, because I do not want to remember the Old Yankee Man as being remotely pure or ‘perfect’ (mostly because if he knew I’d deified him, he’d surely haunt me))… anyway, as it does, the light did indeed sneak in through cracks here and there.
Math tells me that – between raising and caring for five (and a half) incredible humans, JoHn and I spent twenty-eight years either bringing them up… or walking them home.
That’s pretty special stuff, absolutely wondrous stuff, and also – at times – very hard stuff.
It makes sense that one ought take some time to consider that, honor it.
I have and I will.
A year of pondering and processing has brought something basic, and elemental, and ‘no kidding, you idjut!’ right to my doorstep.
When the kids headed off to college, I’d known it was going to happen for a long time. As their Mom, I smiled and cried (and sometimes smiled as I cried) at the whole concept of wrapping them safely in their roots, and having to give them wings (ah, the paradoxes of parenthood). But, somehow, it didn’t occur to me, nearly thirty years ago, that – in making the decision to have Granny and Grampa live with us – that my nest would not empty when my children left home. I did not realize that some of the toughest caregiving of my life would begin as these two people, so beloved and dear to me (to us), began the processes of leaving their lives here behind.
Don’t get me wrong, I knew we – JoHn and I – would be on the front lines when it came time for that. But, well, how can you really know… until you, you know, know?
In a way, Granny’s passing was the beginning of processing it all, versus the end. As each child worked their way into their own lives, separate from our day to days, we had the next to focus on… then the next… and then that wasn’t all.
Because then Granny and Grampa.
And, even when Grampa died, we were focused on supporting, and then too soon (it’s always ‘too soon’) caring for, Granny. She’d lost the love of her life – her partner in all things for nearly sixty years. She and Grampa had given so much to us… love, support, encouragement, memories that make us laugh until our eyes leak to this day. It was – and I have pondered this for a long time and know it to be so – an honor to be able to be there for them as their years and weeks and seconds became precious. One of the hardest things ever, but an honor.
And now… there’s now.
My churning, chewing, wandering, and wondering brain has taken a long walk with Time, and we have suddenly found ourselves at Spring’s debut (Time seems as excited as I am about this). In tandem with nature’s return of color and light, I feel a sense of clarity blooming within me.
Gratitude has gently pushed into the space once ruled by sorrow’s heavy hand, but it is respectful. My heart needs room for the tears to flow now and again, given the right prompts, and Gratitude understands.
Along with so many other beings at this time of year – Plantae and Animalia – I’m waking up too, as if from a long sleep. I can feel it happening…
The what’s new.
The what’s next.
And, sure, my own yawning and stretching (and marching toward coffee) is going to be necessary to really feel myself again… connect with me somewhere in this clarifying.
Possibilities – along with the inevitable pollen – are rolling in on the waves and warming sea breezes.
And, along with all of those feelings, the knowledge – solid and true…
That I’d do it all over again.
I probably would have done a better job hiding the orange spray paint cans from the Old Yankee Man.
That guy marked everything in orange.
But other than that…
Thanks for readin’.
You can comment below, or join fellow ponderers on Just Ponderin’s Facebook page… or both! You are in total control.