Trout Lily or Adder Tongue
Unknown white wildflower
Sitting on the front steps, I want more than anything to go to the park. I hesitate to go, but I cannot let another persons mental problems stop me, I talk myself into it, I have to go, the dog wants to go, I am itching to go, I must go. I pull into a full lot and take a route that I don’t really like, it is strenuous and the dog trips more than once on the rocks. Early in I feel the sore buttocks muscle (from my first ever attempt at Frisbee Golf – which was way fun) pull and spend the whole walk struggling with any uphill climb. It hurts, but nothing that cannot be babied into shape again. I have had so much on my mind, existential questions, deep curiosity about the path God has me on, worry about the future, but I begin to relax into the hike, even as I pass the deep crevices and step rock drop offs. It is as though each step is a path through my own existence, the deep scars in the earth, like the scars inside of me. I think sometimes I will break apart, I want to withdraw and become a hermit, I want to disappear pound by pound until I am a wraith. I feel small and insignificant, I want to be even small, I want to walk these paths unnoticed.
A recent visit to a health care provider I haven’t seen in several months, a woman whom I admire deeply, told me today, as I was leaving, that I am looking so good and whatever I am doing keep at it, because it is working for me. I reflect on this compliment, given out of the blue, for no purpose of her own that I can discern. I know that even though my weight has fluctuated several pounds this year I know that my clothes are looser, even though the weight loss is not terribly dramatic. I feel really healthy. Except for these questions that are plaguing my thoughts, I am confused, I am lost, I am uncertain. I need meditation, but the only meditative thing I am doing is Tai Chi Chih. But what does it mean, really? Here I am with so much darkness clouding my vision, criticism weighs heavy on me, and these kind words, are unfamiliar. I almost can feel the world spinning around me, I am like the first abstract painting ever submitted to the academy, I am a subject of my own ridicule, I am a hideous creature that hides under mushrooms, a brownie, a troll. I am like a heart that has been broken open by a Barbie Doll, plastic body swinging and bashing all the life out of me. I look at my big hands, I look at the tummy that never seems to go away, I look at the thick and muscled sturdiness of my legs. Tears fall as the Barbie constantly crashes into my bloodless heart.
The path is so dry and I am concerned for our changing climate. This winter has seen only 48 inches of snow. The least snow I have seen in this region for 44 years. Today it was 80 degrees, students wearing shorts and flip flops; experience has me putting a wool sweater and wool socks and sneakers in a bag in the trunk of my car, I cannot trust this March weather, it goes against anything I have ever known. On my way home last night I was shocked to see magnolia blooming. And today at the park, the tell tale green and brown spotted leaves of trout lily or as my grandfather called it, adder tongue. I watched a program on public television last night that was helicopter views of Hawaii’s islands. I was astonished by the incredible beauty, and I am determined more than ever to save money to go there one day. They spoke of a close connection to the land, a recognition of the connection we all have to the living earth. I know this feeling as I walk these deciduous woods, as I see the familiar spring plants pushing through the decaying leaves of autumn, as I smell the scent of spring, but I am awkward in this too hot spring, I worry that I will not be prepared should normalcy return. I worry that the earth is preparing to exact some kind of wicked karma on unsuspecting innocents, like the Children’s Blizzard of 1888.
She is not here today and I rejoice, I have enough in this world of feeling lost, I do not need her input into my brooding melancholy. Although, it never seems to fully leave me, and is a part of me as long as the schizophrenic days of March, but even that has changed.
I am confused by it and by so many other things in my life right now.
I feel lost.