Friday, December 28, 2012

Color and Light and Speed

Life is whirling and zooming and yesterday I met Mr. Moon and now it's twenty-nine years later and there are kids and grandkids and how did this happen? I swear. I remember one karate class, one ballet class, one teacher conference, one outbreak of the hives, one night of story-reading, that's all, it's a blur, it's a whirl, it's a zoom down the highway did you see that cow? the purple phlox, the sign for Jesus, hamburgers, gas, ice, milk, beer?

Oh Lord. I feel old today.

The dining room table is getting a lot of use these days. Family dinners and breakfasts, too. I have to go to the grocery today to restock. I'm out of celery, carrots, milk, buttermilk, self-rising flour, lettuce, tomatoes. Everything.

A pink plastic flamingo hangs over the back of a chair in the kitchen. Last night Owen was riding him saying, "Yee-haw!" and that's where he parked the bird.There are clicky primary-colored plastic keys on the kitchen counter, a rolly toy in the corner of the bathroom, a tiny trike parked in the hallway. Gibson crawls everywhere now, I look up from the stove in the kitchen to see him come into the doorway and he sits up and grins at me like, "Hey! I made it!" and then he crawls over to me and climbs my legs and I reach down and pick him up and hold him to me, nuzzle him, give him a bite of something, anything, the boy does not care.
The other day I was asking Owen, "Do you like broccoli? Should I cook us some broccoli?" and he said, "No. I not grown-up yet." Almost sadly. Did I tell you this already? Memory. Mine is shot.
He also told me the other day that I should make chicken stew. I have no idea what he thinks chicken stew is but last night I made a version of it from my mind and he ate it with gusto. You do not have to be grown up to like chicken stew.
I used up the last of the buttermilk and self-rising flour and made dumplings and they had yogurt in them too and were light as tiny cloud-pillows, rising fat and warm and friendly in the steam. We ate the stew and dumplings in bowls with spoons along with the chicken, carrots, celery, onions, corn, green beans and also the simplest salad and it was good.

And then I finished the fruit cake.

Oh. The holidays. It's like every colored ribbon is being woven together all the time and there are tangles and knots and yet, there's a pattern, a beautiful thing is being made all the time, the dancing the laughing the eating the cooking the cleaning up the singing the joking the boy bites the baby the baby cries and then laughs the boys hides and is sorry and we all tell him it's okay, it's okay, you love your brother and oh, he does, he does and the brother loves him.

I don't really have anything to say. I am tired even after a good night's sleep and I have to go to the store and the boys are coming out this afternoon and the chickens need letting out and the plans for the day are being made and I look down at my sleeve and there's a smudge, a smear of dumpling dough and when did I last take a shower, change my clothes for real? Oh yes, yesterday. I did that yesterday. I will do it again today, speeding, zooming, whirling and the ribbon-cloth holds us to the planet so that we do not fly off and it covers us, it supports us, it prevents us from falling too far, it catches us in its silky light-shot tendrils of net, of lace, of knots and tangles, it snarls and smooths out, it lays across us like a sleeping baby's breath, it holds us in place as we gather, as we dance, as we crawl across the floor as we lift up our arms and other arms reach down and pull us up and we are nuzzled, we are kissed, we are fed.


  1. Wow, beautiful, Mary. I can feel the mayhem :)

    Vergil is commanding some wrapt attention in this photo!

  2. It's been so long since I could say I was with my family for the holidays. Pat and I have always been so far away. We have forgotten until now how wonderful it is to be in such a ribbon - a part of the knit. This has been the best holiday season we've had in a long time. xo

  3. I loved loved where you wrote about Gibson crawling in. Beautiful post beautiful.

  4. What a gift, to find beauty in all that madness.

  5. Such incandescent family moments. You are surrounded by love, you helped create that love, and it is so beautiful. That photo of you all, I clicked it big and gazed at it. There is so much there. And at the center of it, you, radiantly so.

  6. For someone who is so suspicious of the holidays, you sure do make them sound fun and fulfilling!

  7. Sounds like a wonderful holiday for you and the family, Ms. Moon. I really like that picture you posted as it shows how much love there is with all of you guys. 29 years. Congrats on that, and it does fly by. Mrs. Shife and I are at 15 and counting. Enjoy your weekend, and have a Happy New Year.

  8. This post, followed by that perfect photo, made me draw in my breath and then let it out, content.

  9. You do me good Ms Moon. You totally get the bah humbug and then you totally get the magic. You are reminding me how to live. Beautiful post many thanks.

  10. Oh you make me happy. You give me hope.

  11. Ms. Fleur- Thank-you.

    Jo- Bubble blowing requires rapt attention.

    Rachel- I'm glad you've got that this year.

    Madame King- Gibson. Gibson is so beautiful.

    Vesuvius At Home- And it is madness. Believe me.

    Angella- I just realized that I am in that picture with all the boys. All my boys.

    Steve- They are fun. And completely exhausting.

    Mr. Shife- Fifteen years is nothing at all to sneeze at. Good on you and Mrs. Shife!

    Elizabeth- Bless you, darling.

    Nichola- Thank you. Thank you for coming here and thank you for commenting.

    Bethany- And you know what? You give ME hope.

  12. Mrs. Moon, you are blessed. Blessed, I tell you. And I feel blessed too, when I read all about it.

  13. I'm glad that the happiness is there. I had the sad feeling for most of Christmas day but got out of it. Amazing to get sleep and feel better.


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