Sunday, May 15, 2011

Seeking Peace

May 15, 2011

Good Sunday Morning,

Peace.  I seek it.  Actively.  Consciously.  It does not come easily.  In those moments I find it, I freeze, record every millisecond.

I find it most in my backyard, in those spaces there I have created for myself—to recreate myself.  I find it sifting dirt between my fingers, parting soil, counting seeds, covering them, watering, feeding, watching for the first push of stems, leaves through soil. 

Working there yesterday I needed music.  My ipod was in the drawer, under the stereo, fully charged.  The earbuds were upstairs in my desk.  I got distracted there.  Lost in bills waiting to be paid, photographs, a postcard you sent me from the Maltese Islands. 

“This is pretty much how it looks.” You wrote.  “Talk to you soon.  Love you, Andrea.”  You drew a picture of a heart next to your name.  I felt the joy you found in that day exploring brightly painted old wood doorways, looking up at window boxes full of red geraniums. 

Back in the garden, I had music.  I pulled weeds and sang along.  I did not care if anyone was listening.  The birds had woke me with their songs in the morning.  Some frogs began an orchestra of sound.  I shared my voice with them.  And with Sadie, who followed me around watching. 

Sweat began beading on my legs, under my arms.  I stood, turned my face to the sun.  My cheeks have turned pale, dark half moon circles sit under my eyes.  I felt the sun lightly brush its palms around my exposed throat, up my chin, across my lips, my nose, my forehead.  I was enveloped, I felt my skin color. 

I rolled up my sleeves, knotted my skirt between my legs.  Sweat evaporated in the small breeze—nature’s air conditioning.  Standing there I sang with Cat Stevens.  Peace.  My heart was untethered.  A white butterfly flew in, floated, wings elegantly flapped as it moved from one green leaf to another, making its way across the garden.  It felt like a blessing.  I felt tears.  I was full of too many feelings to name.  As Cat and I ended the song, I realized I had only paid attention to the notes, the way they formed a melody.  The notes, the melody faded into background as I sang along “…everything emptying into white.”  The butterfly lit on one more leaf, then flew away.

This morning it is raining.  Looking out onto the garden, everything looks greener.  I ask Steve “Am I crazy, or do the plants look greener, more brilliant in the rain?” 

He looks up, ponders my question for a moment, answers “They do.”

I ask him if he knows why.  He does not.  He thinks it has something to do with refraction and light rays.

I Google “why greener in the rain”.  The answer is elemental.  “Because plants use water, carbon dioxide and sunlight to create food.”  Yahoo answers.  When it rains, plants get a lot of water.  They rejuvenate.  Photosynthesis occurs.  Chlorophyll makes food from carbon dioxide, water nutrients and light.

Today the plants have everything they need.

As I sit here and I write to you this Sunday morning, I am listening to my ipod playing through the stereo.  Stella is grooming herself on a towel at the end of the table.  Sadie is asleep on the oriental rug at my feet.  Lisa texted me a picture of Annalise cuddling a baby bear.  In a couple of hours I will meet her, my sister Karen, Lisa’s daughter (my great niece Alicia).  We are going to dinner at Elliot’s and Mary Poppins at the Paramount. 

I tell myself, “This is all I need.”  And try to believe it.  I miss you.