Monday, November 30, 2009

The Sentimentality of Here, There

I am often accused of not being sentimental, or more to the point, once I am "done" with a thing (object,person, circumstance) I am done with it completely. I do have the ability to walk away, sometimes far forevers away, from a thing I no longer need or find fulfilling. Whenever I am so accused I want to argue this simply isn't true but I can't. It is true. My nostalgia is carried within me, not in a photo or a trinket or a box of receipts. When I am struck by a wave of sentimentality, the pining comes from deep inside and it may not always produce tears, but it shifts me, moves me, affects my whole being. One such place that I will forever carry with me is the Missouri Botanical Gardens. I visited the grounds again during Thanksgiving holiday and before I even stepped out into the first courtyard, I felt a lightening, as if a corset of tension had been unlaced; I could breathe again.

This place has seen me single, engaged, married, a wife, twice pregnant, a mother, one day old, maybe ill, always dying. I have brought friends and loved ones to experience her seasons. I have mourned the loss of several of those dearest here at the lake's edge. There is no blame here, there is light. There is no vacuous chatter here, there is wind in trees. There is no anger here, there is beauty. There is no entrenchment here, there is constant change. There is no denial here, there is acceptance. These gardens look different every time I visit, but her loving embrace and tender kisses on the eyelids of my soul, bring me a peace and a sense of connectedness I rarely find elsewhere.
The Garden and her long light reminds me to live, to embrace change, because everything must change, no static thing will survive the hard frosts, the droughts, the floods, or the harvests. People forget, they want to cling sentimentally to what they once had or dreamed of having, and completely forget they are not dead; they can keep living, nurture their dormant roots and bloom once more. It is an effort filled choice each has to make for themselves, no other can give you what you need to be whole. And so, I cannot deny I am not one for mawkishness and tradition for the sake of it, but instead of unsuccessfully contriving a sense of nostalgia, I attempt to live so I find new threads of it everywhere I go. Threads that make the seams of myself hold fast, no matter what season I may face next.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Gypsy Gold

My quest to capture the last golden turnings of the season was successful. As an unexpected bonus, I made a new friend.

I had forgotten how much I like horses and how much they like me.

Maybe it's my disposition that attracts them. Or maybe I smell like a root vegetable.

He was so handsome my inner Southerner broke free and I declared him "right purty." He didn't seem to mind.

'Gypsy gold does not chink or glitter.
It gleams in the sun and neighs in the dark.'
Claddagh Gypsy saying

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Autumnal Rains

Received record rains a couple days ago which felled the leaves outside my window. A friend called and invited me to hike the mountain on Friday. We are both afraid to miss it, this last quiet release, the halcyon sigh of Nature donning winter.


Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Physics of Falling Leaves

Roman Payne wrote the title of this post, he was commenting on the suddenness of death, but some combinations of words are poems which deserve to be plucked from paragraphs and endlessly applied to listening ears.

The leaves are falling slowly here, reluctantly, dancing on the sun warmed air, slipping out of our grasp at the very last second when we exclaim Ah!, our traitorous breath launching the burnished treasures skyward again.

My need to be still, quiet, and reflective is strong now, but only because these desires are the opposite of what the fractious energies of the season promise. Life only gets busier, louder, spread out across town and country, often expecting me to be in two places at once; everyone needs something from me. In keeping with my contrary nature my response to busy weeks is to want to hide even if it has to be in plain sight. I want to pull in and float along, observing the revelry, but not fully participating. This loner behavior serves in letting me see the world around me but isn't fulfilling in a way I want right now. Maybe this year I'll participate with my whole self and allow the world to know me. Hopefully I won't be tempted to fly away on the first breath of 'Ah! There you are; now we have you!' like a leaf reluctant to end its independent adventure.