Monday, February 28, 2011

Remember This, Part II

Everything is hurrying, hurrying here around me, even as it is the quietest and most peaceful late afternoon, already five-thirty but the chickens are nowhere near going to bed and two months ago, they'd have been tucked up by now and the sun would be setting.

Spring and I am not ready for it! How absurd to say that. One is always ready for spring but this year, it's coming so fast and early and it only serves to remind me of how fast life itself is spinning itself around me, Jesus, and how fast I am spinning through it, life itself.

Yesterday, Michelle, our Shelby, told me that one of her friends had seen the play and thought I was hot and he asked if I was maybe around forty-five and listen- YOU TOO will reach the age and point where someone thinking you are forty-five will be the grandest compliment you'll get all year, hang on, it's coming darlin's.

Wasn't it just a few days ago when I said that the Japanese Magnolia was sending out its fuzzy buds and here- today- this:

My god. How did that happen? I love that little tree. The people who lived here before me planted it and I wonder if they even remember and here I am, every spring, seeing it bigger and more beautiful and reaping the beauty they sowed.

The Bradford Pears are a cloud of white, they do not fruit a real fruit but their spring blossoms are frothy petticoats, their autumn leaves have an orange and yellow pattern of the Virgin of Guadalupe on them and how can you not love that?

Okay, okay, the Bradford Pears and the Japanese Magnolias are the early bloomers and I comfort myself with the fact that there is more to come and then I find this already happening in the grass everywhere:

The white violets and I've seen a few purple ones, too, and Owen and I ate some of them today and they were good. I promise you they were, but they were not as tasty as the sour flowers which we both sampled as well:

And that boy, that boy. How he is growing and changing and today we were out on the side porch and he took the pillow from the swing and laid it on the ground and patted it and laid his head on it and called me to lay down with my head on it too and we looked up to see the mermaid flying above us, the sky, the leaves, the mighty branches of the oak and he put his arm around my head and hugged me to him and listen- that's enough. That is enough. I can't tell him to stop growing but my heart can't take much more.
If I could share a one-hundredth of the love I have for him with the world, it would be a better place and I am not even kidding you. Call me cliched and call me a grandmother but I don't care. It's the simple, ever-loving truth.

I ask him, "Owen would you like some noodles?" and he says, "Uh-huh," and I make them and he eats about a pound of them with tomato and basil sauce on them and wants moah, moah, moah. "Eat a yogurt," I tell him. "Enough pasta, boy," and he does. With his own spoon, he eats it. I watch him do everything and I can see the way his brain is working and how he works things out in this world we live in. I see that he can hold two eggs in one hand and I hear how he says, "Niiice" when we find them in the nest. There was another tiny snake in there today, another oak snake, and when I took it out on its bed of hay with the pitchfork and showed it to the boy, he wanted to touch it and how do I teach him that snakes are not always bad or to be feared but that some are and so we must be wary?

When we bought this house seven years ago, I had no idea that I was buying the grandmother house. I was still in my forties. Barely but still, and had no idea that a grandchild would be coming so soon. I must have had innate wisdom in my belly. I must have had knowledge in my bones. He loves the chickens more than life itself and he is their master:

When he is told in school that chickens are really dinosaurs, he will know it already.

And he will know the ways of the lizard on the walls and he will NOT be afraid of snakes.

The lizards are everywhere and that is another sign of spring. They will be puffing their throats out, ruby-colored, and doing push-ups to attract mates and when we let the chickens out in the morning, Elvis tries to top every hen and I say to Owen, "Look, Elvis is dancing," and he is, he truly is.

It's all happening too fast. I feel like I am a hundred, no, two hundred, no, ten million years old today. My feet hurt, my knees hurt, my back is a knotted rope of muscle and wire from the walking, the bending, the digging, the lifting, the carrying, the caring, the worrying, the pulling and tugging of life towards me, always, and oh yes, sometimes, the pushing of it away- when it is too much- but never if that involves love. No. Never.
Not any more. Not like I used to, out of fear. Out of habit.

But the dogwoods- they haven't started blooming. I consoled myself with that today. We have THAT to look forward to, a moment to take it all in before that glory announces itself and then, with the camera in my hand, I looked up to see this:

No way.
But yes.

And the wisteria- every hour more buds appear-

and no, I am not exaggerating. Every hour.

My heart cannot hold all of this. It simply cannot. Too fast. Too soon.

At least the trillium blooms slowly

and you know what? Twenty years ago I would not even have noticed. I swear. I wouldn't have. And now, it mesmerizes me.

All day the doves have been cooing. Are they love coos? I don't know but Owen imitated them perfectly. Tone and note. He has it. He came and got me to tell me there was a bird in Bop's bathroom and there was. A wren, looking for a nesting place. We opened the door to the outside and let it fly out as it would. But do you see what I am saying? The boy, seventeen months old, could tell me that there was a bird in Bop's bathroom.

Too fast, too fast, too fast.

But the tung tree- it is still bare. It's delicate peach-colored blossoms have not yet begun to show at all and the azaleas are holding their buds tightly to their chests and so, okay, there is still so much to look forward to but I know, I know how quickly these perfect days of sky and blossom and growth and temperatures will pass on into summer with its baking heat when we imprison ourselves in our air-conditioned spaces.

Shhh, shhh, shhh.

Stop it. I need to be mindful and I am. I am capturing it as it all is right this second and that is all I need to do. To be mindful of it all, from Owen's arms around me to the sweet flower of the tea olive, to my husband's smooth skin, his walk, his smile, his heart. This is it. This is my life, even if I feel so old, even if I know how fast it all goes and how fast we go with it.

Even as I knew to buy this house for grandchildren yet to be even dreamed of, even as I knew to fall in love with this man I love so much, even as I knew through the darkest hours to hang on, I know that this is true- there is no stopping time. And whether I am ready for whatever comes, whether spring or joy or sorrow, it will all come in its time.

And I hold on and I keep my eyes wide open and I hold it all close to me as I lay on a pillow with that boy beside me, his arm hugging my head close, our eyes on the sky above. I am trying not to miss a thing, either through blindness or inattention and Owen is my guru in this, my teacher, my sensei, my guide as he slows me down to look at the dirt, to look up at the sky, to pause in wonder at the smallest flower, the biggest tree, the widest sky, the incomprehensible possibility of love.


  1. It IS too fast - and here is why - because here is the time I wanted to come visit, again, around and around and I keep missing it.

    Just like I kept not making it to Christmas in California and then it was too late. I hate that.

    But! Your flower and your baby guide, all so very beautiful. Thank you for sharing, even from this distance.

  2. Beautiful, beautiful. This post fills me up to the brim.

  3. Remember, Ms. Moon, for we all count on you to remind US. Love, love,

  4. Jo- Ah, love. Spring will come again. I promise.

    Lora- Good. I know you know.

    Angie C- You don't need reminding. You know, too.

  5. So beautiful, so true. I loved every word of this post. I know exactly what you mean. You filled my head with visions and scents and sounds, you had me with watery eyes at the trillium, reaching for a tissue by the end, remembering and knowing right along with you. All except the Grandma part, I don't think I'll last that long! Life is so amazing and goes by so quickly. Every Spring I do the same thing you do, celebrate the arrival of each new blossom with a not yet! too soon! slow down! The magic of children is how they can get us to slow down and catch glorious moments like yours on the porch. Thanks for taking me there with you.

  6. Great post -- this quick and nervous spring for all of you over there is making me a tad nervous. But that's what I do best, I suppose. Worry. Just like an old, Italian peasant.

    I love Owen't Paul Frank shoes -- very hip.

    I'm really excited about the possibility of being thought hot. I'm now 47, and it would be nice to hear that every now and then.

  7. Elizabeth- Those shoes are cute but will not stay on. All day Owen was holding up a shoe and saying, "Shoe?" Faggetaboutit.
    As to the hotness thing- make-up, lighting, hot shoes. And red hair? Oh, to REALLY be forty-five again.

  8. I too love spring but it means that the heat of summer will come too soon. I am not ready for that heat yet. The Bradfords and red buds are blooming here. And the hydrangeas are leafing out.

  9. my long day ending perfectly here in your heart song.
    i love love love your singing out to the holy fire and glory of it all.
    each golden moment unfurled,
    in the perfect now.

  10. Such beautiful pictures of your lovely world. I was just remarking to A the other day about how much that boy of yours has grown...just like my nephew (who just turned 11 years old Friday)...and it seems like just yesterday we were holding newborns. *sigh*

    I'm always rushing ahead to get through and onto the next thing and so seldom stop to enjoy the moment. Why am I always wishing for life to "hurry up"?

  11. i grew up between a dairy farm and a house that held mysteries and artifacts and other neat things like a pachinko machine. sometimes the things you write remind me of the happy things about my growing up before all the bad things came. thank you, mrs mary moon, thank you.


  12. This could not be more gorgeous. I especially adore those frothy petticoats.

    It just goes so fast. And again, thank you for bringing me some early spring with those glorious pictures.

  13. This made me smile :) Thank you.

  14. Oh, well, the monkey sandals only cost a buck or two at Goodwill anyway. How did he tell you about the bird? Did he say "Bird! Bop!" like "Cat! Fish!"?

  15. Oh, Mary Moon, bless you for this post - I have been feeling spring rush by me like a fragrant breeze, while I sit inside this wretched building and toil everyday at my computer. My heart is out there among the blossoms and the bees, and I have been making stupid mistakes in my writing. You are so generous to share your and Owen's spring adventures - it makes me feel as if I'm there with you. Thank you, my dear - I hope I can come out soon to make the acquaintance of the hens and Elvis. Perhaps I will see if precious Jessie Moon will allow me to accompany her, or dear, wonderful Liz.

  16. Syd- Same here. Same here.

    rebecca- You warm me, every time.

    Mel's Way- It is human nature. I am doing it today and yelling at myself for doing so. SLOW DOWN! I tell myself.
    Doesn't work.

    A- Yes. And thanks for all your helpful advice re: the medical thing. You steered in a good direction.

    Mrs. A- That makes me feel SO good.
    Thanks for telling me.

    Nancy C- I wish I could share it with the world. I try, I guess.

    Perovskia- Thank-YOU!

    DTG- Basically, yes.

  17. Kati- I had the best dream about you the other night. And you did come visit me in it. It was like an entire short story. So please- come visit. Alone or with one of our precious ones. You are ALWAYS welcome here.

  18. That clinches it! Hold onto that dream - I need to hear about that. You will see me soon!

  19. I imagine you must be torn.
    You have all of this unfurling and exploding and bubbling over to sit and savour and yet you have so many things taking you away.
    And I say take in a respectful way. Because I get it .

    But still.

    Be gentle on yourself , Ms. Moon. Life is short as you say, and you have to take care of yourself more when you give more.

  20. Oh, Ms. Moon, you do have a way to make me cry.

  21. That's the problem if you live mindfully, consciously. You also realise it's all fleeting, gone before you even see it. Well said, Ms. Moon. (Spring takes a lot longer to come along here. I don't think you would like that much.)


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