On Halloween I missed my self-imposed deadline for publishing a post in October. Fall is my favorite time of year and October is my favorite month. This time of year, I tend to think long and (vaguely) literary thoughts and I want to write. I want to write, but I give myself excuses why I haven’t written. Tom and I have been busy putting our new home together. Also, we recently traveled to Salt Lake City to visit dear friends from back in those Arizona and Utah days. Time is passing, and not as slowly as it did up there in the mountains. We feel a strong need to see those we love. We also recently traveled to Pittsburgh to see our son, Robert, and his family. Then it was on to Shaker Heights to visit with two of my brothers and our dear sisters-in-law. More excuses: Plus, it was mostly too hot here to feel like fall. Plus, I spent too much time reading the political news, signing petitions to save Bears Ears, and worrying about the future of our democracy as our laws, our ethics, and our social contract shred before our eyes. So, the good ideas came and went while I couldn’t settle enough to write coherent paragraphs that seemed true. I think I can string some sentences together, though. I think I took some okay photos, so I am adding them below, too.
Usually, I am content to have memories of my parents just flit in out of my consciousness. In my mind, there is my mom, teaching me how to make the pie dough. There’s my dad, tying the laces of my ice skates. Different scenes come and go and they are almost all happy. However, when the days shorten and we head toward winter and the holidays, I am the youngest again, the baby sister, and I need my mother and father and the others who have gone.
I work on living in the present. I am better at it than I used to be. For many years I was angry that I couldn’t protect my children from the sadness and pain of life. I had a bad case of hubris. Now, I understand my limitations more. To those I love, I just say–in my mind–“I love you and I wish you well.”
Like my brother, Roger, gone these six years now, I feel lucky: lucky in my husband, lucky in my children, lucky in my friends. Also: the trees, the flowers, the aquatic macroinvertebrates, North Rim, and cold nights camping not alone.
To calm me down from the news, I am trying to get back into my deep breathing. Sometimes Tom and I walk ten miles a day.
When I was 17, I thought we could end war. I thought that we would feed the hungry children. I thought we could come together right then. I thought we would work together to save our planet. Oddly, even now, even here–a 2.7 mile walk from my condo to The White House–I remain hopeful.
You may see this old woman at the marches or maybe we will meet on the ramparts one day, but I still believe in my deep core that the glass is half-full. Happy Fall.
wasp (I don’t know what variety)
cafe, National Gallery of Art
Romanesco broccoli at the Rosslyn Farmers Market
greens from Kate’s yard
Mary Livingston Ripley Garden
American elm (Ulmus americana) in front of the Museum of Natural History
Columbia Gardens Cemetery, November 1, 2017
Evening in Rosslyn
my mother’s muffin tin; my pumpkin muffins