Photographs and Memories

It's how the world renews itself - it gives itself to the seasons, allows for time of rain, sleeps through the snow, recharges in the sunlight. The earth is a pretty smart lady.

It’s August first, and a new month is upon us.  A few months ago, I was driving through barren, snow covered fields hoping to stay sane enough to graduate  with my Master’s from the SOT with a hint of my former honors GPA.  Graduate I did, the summer came and with it, the healing of my tired soul through all this green, the plants and the trees…my memories of what being happy means.  Home, family, life.  And the seasons, they move on.  It’s what I try to communicate so often to the people that write in each day asking through serious pain and tears “how do I let go” or “how do I mend a broken heart?”  The answer: you don’t.  You begin to open your eyes to what you’ve been ignoring all that time that passion had her blindfold on you – your life.  You see the seasons, the colors, you take the time to breath and to love yourself.  Letting go is just allowing other feelings and thoughts to come in and be more relevant.  Seasons of life, things that we learn.

It’s one of the things that I love about the seasons of Central Indiana, the definite movement of the seasons across the plain.  Today, the corn, soybean and tomato fields are flourishing after a few days of much needed rain.  It’s sticky hot outside, but not wholly unpleasant: I remember one night not so long ago when I was wandering the back yard in snow up to my knees. I was bleeding my soul into it, but that season has passed.  I can look outside my window or from my perch on the roof and all around me are leaves of green and a soft summer breeze.  I sit where I once lay crying in my grief and know that in the end, I will be here again, different thoughts, different emotions, different moments.   It was not the defining moment of my life, crying in the January snow, but I learned a lot from it. The duality of it appeals to me.

Real love, when you find it, participates in your moments, knows everything that there is to know about you…and it’s okay.  It’s not something they use against you.  Both of your small passions become shared, like my obsession with the growing fields and those huge family Christmases where everyone comes home and the tree touches the 13′ ceiling.  I was reminded of that when Brian and I went on date night last night.  He laughed when I said a familiar sentence when we crossed a much traveled bridge and lake toward a neighboring town where they serve a great steak and cold drinks.   He knows I keep these mental snap shots of things and places that I love, much like my house that is filled to overflowing with pictures of my family.  “Just think” I began.  “In a few short months, all the corn will be gone and their will be snow blowing over this field.”  He finished the sentence.  He was right, it was what I was seeing, looking out that car window.  I was in my head of photographs and memories, seeing the spring, the current beauty of a full and vibrant summer.  For just a moment, I imagined the harvest, the dust of it, the turning of the fields. Then, I could see it…a few months from now, the traces of snow that snake across that same road in the wind, the drifts.  When that happens, I’ll see this years bountiful harvest, and feel the suns warmth.  The dozens of coats we own as a family are taking up all the downstairs closets, the guest room and the pegs in the utility, like little leather and down soldiers ready to jump back into the fight.

But for now, there are only the memories of those blustery winter days walking the AU campus in boots that were not designed for hiking the trails in the icy slog.  For Ball State, I have snow boots, and flat terrain between the parking garage and the high rise where my classes are all held, and the capacity to belong to a new culture, a new cohort of overachievers.  Pretty happy about that.  August means lots of different things, too; it’s time to begin the endless cycle of  buying, making and preparing Christmas gifts.  There is a new, beautiful grandson to celebrate this year, a new son in law (making the kid I’ve called my son officially part of my world forever).  But for now, the summer porch has it’s furniture, and after a bit of work will boast a new coat of paint, new cement and a fresh start on life.

I love Jim Croce and listened to a few of his songs this a.m.   Hey Tomorrow is a great theme song for people who are standing on the edge of a new season.  Think of these upcoming days with hope and anticipation.  More photographs and memories to put on the walls, another Christmas to worship and be blessed in the grace of the Divine.

Today, it’s enough to be here in the house alone, writing, smiling over what I am bringing to life through imagination.  It’s a good day to be alive.

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