Monday, April 25, 2011

Dancing In The Light, In The Rain, In The Wonder

Cha-cha-cha, move this way, sway that way, cha-cha-cha, good morning, hello, another Monday. Is it?
Yes. The cardinal sits at the feeder and yesterday I watched a daddy cardinal feed either a juvenile or a wife, I can't tell the difference, both dun-colored to his scarlet. Over and over again, seed was handed from daddy-beak to other-beak. Here, take, eat.
Birds are like this, I think. Elvis, too, gives his sister-wives food from his beak and he is good at making sure they all get some.
We feed each other, another way to insure the survival of the species, whether your species or mine, whether red-bird or chicken.

Monday morning barely begun and my shoulders already so tight they feel as if they might snap right off, or in two. I'm drinking my coffee out of a mug that Hank brought me yesterday and it has a red rooster on it, stylized and it's a really good shape and size.
My thoughtful children.

It's Lis's birthday today and I am thinking of the day when we'd really first begun our friendship and she was turning forty and we drove to the coast, she and her man, and me and mine, in that same blue Cutlass and she and I wore scarves and sunglasses and Lon gave her a string of black pearls when we were at dinner. Such sweetness! Such sweetness to have been her friend all these years. Happy birthday, Lis-my-love! and today she and Lon are flying to the Bahamas! They're playing down there, some sort of festival, maybe? and I can't wait for her to see that water for the first time, the way it looks from the air and you can't believe the way it looks, that color, that clearness. I wish I was going to be there too, but I am glad enough for her and Lon that I'm content with knowing I'm not.

Besides, this week...

I can't even tell you what all it's going to bring because of course, I don't really know but I do know that on Thursday my brother is coming to town, first time in four years. I do know that on Friday Jessie is going to graduate from nursing school. I do know that on Saturday there is a huge party for her at her friend Melissa's house. I do know that Sunday is her birthday and my mother's, too, and there will be a party here.
I do know that there is going to much celebration and joy and family-all-together. Yes.

As for the rest. Well. Maybe my brother is right when he told me that "plans just mess up your mind."

Yesterday when Jessie and Mr. Moon and I drove the back way to Lily and Jason's house in the Cutlass with the top down, Mr. Moon swung the car over to the side of the road where a magnolia blossomed right at arm's length and I, dressed in skirt and shirt and pearls, reached out and plucked it, creamy white, lemon-perfumed, and of course I thought about the day Jessie was born and how it rained that day but in a break between showers, Mr. Moon and I walked and walked, trying to get that baby down, down, ready to be born, and I was so overcome with knowing that this child was about to be born that I would cry and sway and then walk some more and Mr. Moon reached up into the sky and handed me down magnolia blossoms and we put them in a jar in the bedroom and when Jessie was born, their scent was there, welcoming her to this rainy planet where such things can grow and there were so many people there, too, to welcome her. One all the way from Norway, one from Washington State.
Such a joyful day.

And here she is, twenty-two years later and she's spent time in the hospital, learning to deliver babies or help them be born, and I think of that. She is, if it's what she wants to be, going to be the best midwife, and any baby lucky enough to be born with Jessie in the room is going to know what sweetness is.

And this week will be a week of celebrating all of it, the family who is knit tight with so many meals, so many celebrations, so many tears and such joy and how can I not just let it all happen and be grateful? Let my shoulders relax knowing (hoping) that all will go well, how can it not?
We love each other.
We feed each other.
We bring each other magnolia blossoms and we ride in the Cutlass and wave at little boys in their Easter finery, chartreuse shirt and snappy dark green suit, shining faces; we watch the redbirds at the feeder, we dance, we sway, we cha-cha-cha to the rhythm of the powers of the earth, singing deep within us all and it all and we may wear sunglasses and we may wear lipstick or we may be naked, kneeling on the floor, bringing the baby out to this world and then saying, "Here, here, here!"

And I am so grateful and not least for the fact that every morning, every night too, if I want, I can sit here and write it all out so it won't be forgotten, so that I can remind myself of the fancy dance of it all, of the love that brought these babies, these friends, these loves to me, of the love that keeps it all going like an old blue Cutlass, color of a piece of the sky, slowing down enough for me to pluck a magnolia blossom and then heading back out onto the road again.


  1. Wishing you a magnolia-filled week.

  2. So beautiful. I knew you loved magnolias, now I know why. Their scent always makes me think of love and family too.
    Thanks for sharing the sweetness of the dance with us. Good luck with all the happenings this week.

  3. What an impossibly sweet day.

    I love you SO!

    CONGRATULATIONS to my dear, Jessie! Way to go, kid. The world is lucky to have you.



  4. I love this post!

    It will all be ok, you know it will. But you will stress about it because that is your way... and that's ok too. Just relax into that stress like you would a yoga pose...tee hee!? U stress out just throwing a simple birthday party for a 5 year old, so... I get it.

    Wow, can't believe all the doins. Can't believe Jessie is graduating already. Remember when she first moved out and you were having withdrawals? Seems like just last week!

    Anyway, thanks for sharing and I know it will all be grand and perfect as always. And as always, if you need a cup of sugar or a few extra chairs, etc... you know where to find me.

  5. Ah that would be me.. I stress out throwing the 5 year old party. I typoed 'U" instead of "I"

  6. Sigh. This is all so beautiful -- it just seems to never stop coming from you --

  7. That is such a beautiful birth flower story.

  8. Stephanie- I made me cry too. Not that that's the hardest thing in the world to do.

    Lisa- They are blooming everywhere here. Thank-you.

    Mel- There are so many reasons to love magnolias. Thank-you, baby.

    Ms. Bastard-Beloved- I love you TOO!

    Ms. Fleur- Hell, I'd freak out throwing a five-year-old's birthday party too.

    Elizabeth- Same old glory, huh? I love you.

    Jo- And a true one.

  9. Good for Jessie to be graduating and in love with life. I am glad that it is Monday and I am not at work.

  10. Lovely lovely. So happy for Jesse! And all of you.

    Every child should be welcomed to a magnolia-scented world.

    PS Male cardinals feed potential mates in courtship.

  11. And after the courtship, the male cardinal forgets all about feeding and wooing his mate, much like the human male. The deed is done. The wooing is OVER.


    I love you Kathleen!

  12. Mmmm...glad I'm not the only one sitting here with dewdrops running down my mug.

    Miz Moon, when I have times like this I like to remember the quote I read from JB Priestly--"I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning." And then I like to be so grateful for my own life, and the lives of my family and friends. Surely we are all especially one way or another.

    I lived in the south for a decade, and magnolias still make me weepy. But I thought it was just the menopause...

    Keep looking for the magic...even (or especially) in the comings and goings.

    Hugs and big sloppy kisses...

  13. Oh, and SB?? I have a mate that still feeds me across the table, even out in public. So...some of them do.

    He's a birder, maybe that's why. lmao

  14. What a week you're about to have! Enjoy that togetherness, that love. I know you will.

  15. to slow down in the dance of life reaching with an open heart and welcome hands; receiving and offering the white blossoms of life.

    you do this for us all....and for this and so much more i thank you.

  16. :) Thank you for relaxing me with your words. I needed that today.

  17. So many happy and exciting times coming for your family. Congrats Miss Jessie!

  18. Carry that strong, sweet scent of magnolia with you through this week, Ms Moon. You have great memories of Jessie's birth and the dear Moon Man that created her with you and was helped you bring her into this world. May those memories and many more sustain you through the ups and downs of these next weeks.

    I know I'll look at magnolias with more love after reading this. Thanks for the gift. x0 N2

  19. Syd- And that is a beautiful thing to be happy about!

    Kathleen Scott- Aw. Just like Elvis.

    Akannie- There's just something about magnolias, isn't there? They're sort of the most beautiful symbol of the south somehow. I'm so glad you're here with us. And a good mate is a good mate.

    Lora- If I let myself relax enough.

    A- Thanks, love.

    rebecca- And so do you.

    Nicol- Then I'm so glad I did.

    Mel's Way- I can't believe she's graduating.

    N2- Thank-you, sweetheart. Thank-you.

  20. What a beautiful post Mary. Magnolia's are my favourite.

    Have a hot bath with some essential oils, sea salt and lavender for your shoulders xx

  21. This plucked my heartstrings...I don't think I will ever look at a magnolia and not think of your post today...dear Mary with thoughts so deep and pure.

    Your are a woman of deep love...

  22. sigh..
    congratulations for all of this.

    and do you know how many times you've "made" me cry.

  23. Christina- Oh, it's too HOT for a bath. Believe me.

    deb- I'm sorry?

  24. I would want your Jessie as my midwife. Strangely, reading that, I felt as if I could remember her being my midwife once. Which of course is impossible. But touching to me.

  25. Mwa- Who knows? Maybe it happened. I don't have the slightest idea of what is possible and what is not.


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