I wake to the streams of sunlight as it pours through my eastern window. Blind I pull my hands to my face and am caught by the strong sabi beauty of my fingers, the small lines, and cracks, callouses, and broken nails. I close my pointer finger onto my thumb and watch as the light makes the edges of my skin translucent, I pinch the sun, I set it free. I kiss each of my finger tips in turn, thank you artist’s hands. I see every detail, one eye closed, hands mere inches from my face.
What do you call it, the autumn drills of starlings as they prepare to fly en masse to warmer climes. The brisk autumn air, my cheeks pink, my mind lost, my soul firmly in hand, each day is so beautiful. Murmuration. Susurration. A mantra of a different sort.
Wobbly kneed I stand up, I cannot keep my feet and fall back down. No. No. I feel as though I have been punched in the stomach. She tells me my worst fear for the day is wrong. Thank you God I tell her, thank you Jesus. I am not a woman who prays this way.
I watch a movie that is perfect in its artistic vision, enraptured; he snores in his chair as I put down my tech and draw my finger to my lips. This earth has a woman’s body, this universe is a giant and I a mote upon its body, see that is the giant’s eye. I think of wicker baskets, and bags of pins, and the smell of redwood, the feel of grass under my bare feet. I smile as I think of frosted glasses with autumn leaves. I see on the screen the antique table set with crystal and polished silver and fine bone china. I smile at the thought of green Melmac plates, and chili eaten out of Currier and Ives bowls, with a side dish of buttered saltine crackers. I smell the first smoke of autumn woodstove, the smell of snow wet mittens and felt boots, taste bread and butter pickles and drink blueberry juice with salted stove popped popcorn. I feel the weight of a chickadee on my cold hands, I dream of weeding the garden, the smell of the grass and the plants, the ragweed with it’s whistle knots, and spit bug bubbles, I did not even know that cicadas existed, the buzz of summer was just that.
You come to me pleased with yourself. A gift. Joy, Love, Peace, Faithfulness, Respect, Self Control, the Tree of Life; a ceramic disk to warm my bread. I look in your warm melting eyes. I come home after a long day and find all the jobs done, and your shining pride. Oh it is not a love of poetry and daydreaming. It is a love more like granite than it is like a puppy. It warms in the sun, and heats my body slow and pleasant. I rest back down on it and name the shapes in the clouds. You take my hand and I spill coffee all over myself in surprise.
Walk out the side with me. We can go out together, for the first time.
I shake her hand as she asks me the big question. For now I am doing this, but I am like the ant and the grasshopper, I am prepared for another winter. I am a bit jaded I say in a goofy voice. Divorce will do that to you, she says back without hesitation.
But I find grace for my blessings. So great are they.