It is cherry season and this is what it looks like at our house. We have gone through two boxes so far and I imagine there will be a few more before the season is out. Our hands are stained. Finn’s face is perpetually covered in bright red cherry juice. Our tummies are happy. The pantry is growing with cherries we are putting up for Winter. There is Chocolate Cherry Garcia ice cream in the freezer. I’d say things are looking good.
I find myself drawn to water and I see it in Finn, too. Though our time is varied, we make our way there often. Sometimes we stop by for a quick visit, being there just long enough to say hello and throw a few rocks into the ocean. Then, there are days like Sunday when the three of us sink into our time there; enjoying picnics, people watching, and playing in the sand and water. Even on these long and leisurely days we find ourselves reluctant to part. But part we do, and as we leave we find ourselves profoundly filled, our hearts swelling with the blessing.
We celebrated May Day on the first of the month. The weather was warm and sunny. I love the feel of the sun on my face and I felt blessed to be sitting, standing, and dancing with our friends under the warm May sun as we celebrated growth, life, fertility, and Summer; all of us basking in the light of that glorious star.
The three of us were delighted to have the sunshine keep us company for a few more weeks since then. Picnics, visits to the beach, bike rides, and walks have all been plentiful as we have felt pulled outdoors; longing to spend as much time as possible in the sun’s warmth.
Over the past week the rain has returned and I have set to watching as it miraculously causes the grass to grow half an inch overnight, the garden to flourish, and this lovely place we live to be abundantly green. Both of these, the rain and the sun, are necessary; they compliment each other. We need them both for this great Earth of ours to thrive. It is the rain that fills those rivers, waters those plants, and waters us. The rain too is beautiful.
We can forget the beauty and wonder of water when we experience the easy quickness with which it flows from the faucet. We turn on the faucet to wash dishes and bodies, to cook and pour ourselves a refreshing drink. We do this many times a day, but not with gratitude or reverence for that water which flows so freely. Humans are completely dependent on having clean water. Yet, the degree to which we depend on water is not reflected in the way we treat it. The many industries that so greatly pollute our waters may seem so big and powerful, but they are made and run and demanded to keep doing so by people; by you and me and the choices we make.
I sit here thinking about the rain; watching it as it falls from the sky. It is lovely. It will puddle and animals will drink it and kids will splash in it. It will soak into the earth, some of it to be taken up by plants and those plants in turn will grow. It will fall from the sky again and again and again for all of us to share. It will make its way to my faucet and it will flow easily and quickly and I will think of how it fell from the sky and I will thank it.
Last summer Kendall and I were sitting on our porch chatting. Finn was in bed and we were hanging out as the sun was setting and the air getting cool. An owl swooped down with its wings spread wide. It lives in a tree nearby and though we have heard it often, I have only seen it twice. Both times I was awestruck, my being instantly stilled as I took it in.
I was thinking of that owl as we said goodbye to our house. I thought of the owl again as I sat in the backyard of our new home and watched an eagle soar overhead. The move was unplanned on our part and this home we are in now is a temporary place. While this was not our family’s preference, having the opportunity to live where we are now is also full of blessings. We are closer to friends and closer to town. Walks, which our family loves to take, are almost daily happenings again. Hopping on the ferry is much easier. So, although we would not have chosen this for ourselves and are still adjusting to a new home and dealing with the challenges of transition for each of us, we are delighting in the many sweet things this place too holds.
Kendall was out of town and I awoke in the middle of the night on Friday. There was a wind storm and the electricity went out. There would be no nightlight tonight. Finn was crying. The wind was howling
, pushing hard against our house. We could hear the wind throwing things around, toys left outside scrapping against the floor as the wind forced it from its resting place, branches snapping from a tree that moments before it knew to be its own. Inside we steadied ourselves. We lit a candle. I got the chocolate bread I had been saving. We ate it in bed, and then moved to the floor as my sleepy head woke up to the crumby realities of a three year old’s eating habits. We brought our attention to the light of the candle, and let ourselves sink into the safety of this home of ours and the walls sheltering us from the storm. And, eventually… we fell back to sleep.
When we woke up there was still no electricity. The day was wet and cold. For the next few days Finn would ask, why it was so quiet? Why the wind was not blowing?
It was miserable, but not technically raining at the moment our plans for the day were made. So, we met friends at the park. And, we played. We played in that cold, wet, and miserable weather. We played to keep warm. We played to have fun. We played baseball, we raced, we walked on stilts…. We played until our hands were red and stiff from the cold and our faces chilled. We played and then we said goodbye.
We kept a fire going at home to keep us warm. Just before evening, the electricity came back on. We had soup for dinner, heating our bodies from the inside out, feeling ourselves nourished. We let ourselves move through the rhythm of the rest of the day. I tucked Finn in and then we said goodnight, giving ourselves over to rest. We would pick up Kendall the next day. We would come back together as we all love to do.
Then on Sunday, before picking up Kendall, me and this little guy…
….had a date.