mama said there’d be days like this

autumn four

days like today when I wake up and overnight it’s autumn, the heavy blanket of summer heat gone, the last hummingbirds hovering at the feeder drinking the last of the sugar water,  leaves crisping, shimmering on the trees, holding on like baby teeth, mums bursting open like party favors,  sunflowers bowing their heads in prayer.

days when I sit with a cup of chai in the morning and watch the sun crest over the mountain singing the world into creation, when the first smells of autumn bring me back to a childhood colored by grief and despair and I travel back to that time and collect the young girl who is still sitting on a park bench, waiting for an adult to notice her absence.

days when the squirrel that runs around inside my mind is still asleep, hung over from last night’s orgy of self doubt, exhausted from the struggle to be more, tired from comparing myself to others, spent from looking back and wondering about the choices I’ve made.

days when my eyes see beyond the form of things into their essence, when people stop being their bodies, their annoying quirks, and I see the sameness in us rather than the otherness, all of us doing the best we know how to do, reaching for love and acceptance with the open hands of a beggar.

days when it’s all grace, all god, and I remember to bless food and shelter, bless my legs that still dance, eyes which can still read books too late into the night despite their dimming and the threat of glaucoma.

days when my husband’s voice is the sound of home and I stop to burn the memory into my cells. It will not always be so. Remember. Cherish.

days when the sweet company of my friends fills me with the peace of being known and loved for my crabby happy spiteful generous self.

days when the neighbor’s dog comes over for a treat and looks at me with such love that I have to remind myself that I’m being hustled, but I don’t care; I’m a slave for one of his kisses.

days when I talk with my daughter 8000 miles away and my heart travels through the land line wires and I embrace her, rub her shoulders, brush her hair. Days when the separation is agony.

days when I want to explain the baby boomers to the millennials: hey, we marched against the war, we brought psychedelics and new awakenings into the collective, we read Diet for a Small Planet and ate rice and beans instead of beef, days when I want to protest that we didn’t know about climate crisis back then, days when I shut up and let them rant, tell me what a mess we’ve passed on, days when I simply say I’m sorry.

the garden is drenched from last night’s rain, ripe as a pregnant woman whose time is coming, who knows that the moment of release is close, yielding to the wisdom of the waning sun, the tug of the earth pulling roots down into the dark to drift and dream.  days like today when I observe that all of nature knows what to do, the pinecones bursting with pinon, no struggle, no debate; days when I know I’m woven into this cycle, shadow and light, birth and death, greening and retreating, and I am certain that I am enough, more than enough: whole.

days that promise to last forever but won’t, the soft light like a blessing falling on me, bathing me in grace despite my armor, days I swear not to waste one moment in dissatisfaction, days I swear I’ll be kinder, more patient, less absorbed in my own self-interest; days like this when I want nothing but what I have, to lie down on the still warm earth and rest in this peace so precious, so rare, that all I can do is sing hallelujah.

and while my own mama never had much comfort or wisdom to give, my ancestors before her did; they hitched a ride on her DNA to gift me with the cellular memory of surviving the pogroms, bearing grief like a stone in the heart and still lighting candles on Friday night saying thank you, thank you for the small and the big things, swimming with joy in a winter cold ocean, loving what is beautiful and what is broken, knowing that dark times are coming and still reaching for kindness, charity and goodwill, days when I welcome the ancestors who surround and guide me and deliver me unto this day.

autumn two


The Future
For God’s sake, be done
with this jabber of “a better world.”
What blasphemy! No “futuristic”
twit or child thereof ever
in embodied light will see
a better world than this.
Do something! Go cut the weeds
beside the oblivious road. Pick up
the cans and bottles, old tires,
and dead predictions. No future
can be stuffed into this presence
except by being dead. The day is
clear and bright, and overhead
the sun not yet half finished
with his daily praise.
~ Wendell Berry ~

3 thoughts on “mama said there’d be days like this

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