It rained this afternoon and now the sun is out, going low in the sky and it's powerful beautiful. Just powerful. A second ago the wind blew and pecan leaves clattered down and raindrops shimmered off the leaves like a second tiny shower, like diamonds and rust, as Joan Baez sang, back in the old days, so beautifully that it still makes me shiver, all this time down the road. Here. Go ahead and click on this and if you don't want to look at the video, that's okay. Just listen to that voice.
A good fall song, isn't it? Long ago love calling again from a phone booth in the Midwest on the full moon. Some of you are way too young to remember what it meant to live in a universe in which Bob Dylan and Joan Baez were lovers and that's okay although I feel sad for you.
It was something.
And then...well, that song that came from it. We've got that forever.
Diamonds and rust.
But that isn't what I was aiming to write about. It's just that that phrase came to me because I always think of the falling pecan leaves as sounding rusty, they are full of sap and I think I might be able to identify them by their sound alone, were I blind. And then the infinitesimally small drops of water, like soft shards of diamonds. They came together. They reminded me.
I counted the churches between Lily's house and mine today on my drive home and there were six or seven, I've already forgotten AND a Baptist Children's Home and there's probably a church there too and then, right down the road, there is this:
It's not a church. I can't really tell you what it is beyond that a man lives there. He makes these signs. He collects cans to recycle. He collects junk for reasons I am not privy to. I do not know this man but my next door neighbor does. She says he is filled with some sort of spirit and I believe that. We all are, in one way or another.
After it rained I walked around in the yard for a little bit, putting the compost in the compost thing and collecting my eggs and checking out the rain drops decorating the Cherokee Rose, the ferns, the palms, every living green thing in my yard. I bought a snake plant today at the Publix and don't ask me why. When I was young, I thought that snake plants were perhaps the most boring, useless plants in existence and in the last few years, I have become drawn to them for no apparent reason. Maybe, like watching birds, it's an old person thing that happens and there IS no explanation. Anyway, I stuck that snake plant in a pot of dirt that was vacant and this winter, when it gets cold, I'll bring it into the house and put it in the library. It'll look good in there. I just know it. It's hard to think that it's going to get cold. Our few days of coolness have disappeared although it is not nearly as hot as it was a month ago. It is pleasant if one doesn't try to work outside and even then, it is tolerable which is far better than unbearable.
It's been a good Sunday. I found myself in the grocery store wheeling Owen around in the race car basket remembering how, when I was a young mother, I had fantasies of going to the grocery store all by myself and now here I am, a grandmother, actually calling my daughter and asking her if she wants to go to the store, her and the boys, with me. And it's just as crazy as it was when she was a baby, Owen grabbing things and throwing them in the cart when I'm not looking but I get lots of kisses and once, when Gibson was fussing in his seat at the Costco, I reached for him and Lily said, "Do you want to hold him?" and I said, "Oh. So much." And I did. The child is kissing now. Hugging and kissing. Six months old and how can you pass up any opportunity to get some of that?
I found some artichokes that were as big as Gibson's head at Publix and I tried to get Owen to pose with one. He gladly obliged, as long as the choke was obscuring his face.
That boy. He kept sitting up on the bar and leaning back, trusting me to hold him up and I sang very softly into his ear a song that I made up about holding my beloved boy and we got away with that until his mother told him to sit in his seat! and she was right.
So that's what I've done today. Counted churches and bought artichokes and sung to my grandson and kissed my other grandson and been kissed by him and wondered at the beauty of a sudden breeze kicking rain drops and pecan leaves into the shining air and sticking a snake plant into some dirt and so forth.
I am really tired this evening and I have no idea why. I haven't done shit in the physical realm. But now I'm going to go cook some supper including those giant artichokes and tonight I'll probably dream about old days, or the people from old days who still come and visit me in my dream life, unaccountably but regularly, and yeah, it'll be like diamonds and rust. It always is when that happens, and I wake and here I am, but there I was too, sure and real and sharp as eggshells, strange as the call of distant crows, powerful as the beauty I saw here just a few minutes ago when I started writing this, diamonds and rust but already I only feel rusty and the train is calling from far down the tracks, so far that it, too, might just be a dream.