Tiny Stories, Tiny Tales

wedding consernation

ahhh. The wedding. The wedding is approaching at rapid rate and while it does, I sift through bizarre thoughts. It's odd how the strangest thing can set my obsession with “choosing rightly.” As if doom will strike if I make one wrong step. anywhere. Bridal registry being one. What if I don't register at the right places? the best priced places? will people hate me for registering for gifts that could be bought somewhere else cheaper? Will people resent me for not going with “norms”? Well, it's all plainly ridiculous and so clearly in my own mind but it's there. I fear making one wrong step will make people sullen and growly and resent the wedding.

It's odd how those things work. I've always known I've had deep fears about “picking the right choice.” (the right one, mind you) but it crops up in the oddest places. registry for gifts!

It's snowing today and thickly. I'm about to go to work but I linger over the moments, calming myself, trying to take deep breaths and move forward not flying and deeply afraid but slowly and carefully, taking my time. Easing down.

It's also impressive how I've come up with measuring tools for trying to chart impending disaster. Like a complex machine, I put info in and it pushes impending doom out in graphs and charts. Warning signs combined. What do you do when you don't want that system any more? When you want to relax into trust and not exist on a complex system of trying to chart out doom and smash down before it happens? Geez.

A little bit more ease and trust would be nice from me. It's uphill work to work against the machine that spits out doom graph and charts. “work out your salvation with fear and trembling” no shit. that probably wasn't a command but probably a fact. you Will work out your salvation (whatever your salvation is) with fear and trembling. It just works like that.

A run outside and yes…it is strikingly gorgeous out. and the snowflakes fall with grace and precision. And all…is very well.

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Beautiful Dirty Summer

The thick green groves of cup-plants (silphium perfoliatumare) stand eight feet tall and are in their late summer glory. I look up at their bright yellow ray flowers and shield my eyes, the bright flowers sway so high and run so close to the sun. When I squint, the flowers darken into forms without color like the outline of the sun beating through closed eyelids.

I take a step nearer and peer into the leaves. Tiny pools of still water collect where the thick cup leaves meet the stems. It has not rained in the last few weeks and I’m surprised there is any water here at all. For leaves that are not broken or rotted, thimblefuls of water weigh without movement, rimmed with the detritus of summer: a fly’s wing, a wad of spider web, bits of dead grass and portions of pollen.

These tiny pools are water for goldfinches, tiny birds that flash by like rays of light. It hasn’t rained for weeks and this is left, tiny pools of water full of dirty summer. I consider drinking it. With one quick gulp, I’d drink the essence of a passing summer, imbibe what August means, and taste the bitter part of the growing season. This is living but rotting part that underlines all our lives but that no one likes to see, much less taste.

I shift my weight from foot to foot. The sun beats heavily down. The yellow flowers tumble in overhead breezes and the goldfinches live nearby, finding water where they can as the dry weeks pass. My hands drop to my sides and I pass back through the grass, ready for the shade. Perhaps when it rains and all the cup plants are full, I’ll take my drink along with the many others.

Life Lessons from a Cardinal

Outdoor living is coming in fits and starts now that it’s June. Last week it was in the 90’s (30C) and today it is gentle and cool with thunderstorms passing by north and south, bringing coolness in the wake of their stormy skirts. The sun shines but the thunder rumbles nearby and my cats retreat farther indoors to snooze on chairs instead of near windows.

It is tempting to join them. The heat break means that deep good sleep is possible again. Even with air conditioning, I sleep poorly when it’s hot. I sleep best when it rains.

And it has been raining at night but in great torrid thunderstorms where the house shakes and the windows rattle. Sometimes I lie in bed as the thunderstorms march by and wonder at the fate of all the creatures and people living outside.

It is summer and I have no arguments with it. It’s too hard to argue with the seasons. On the beautiful days, I sip my breakfast tea outdoors and watch the birds and squirrels to start my day. There’s always a drama playing out in the backyard. My favorite is the cardinal who walks along the deck rail, casting his bright black eye here and there and then breaks into song until a robin kicks him out. When the coast is clear, he returns and does the same thing all over again. Despite my nearness, he doesn’t mind me at all and I adore his bright red plumage and courageous laughing heart. His song cheers my soul and I’ve come to recognize his particular song. It falls under the same lines as all cardinals but it has a bit of improvised trill at the end. I think he’s been hanging out with song sparrows and got Ideas.

He’s a hard individual to photograph (all flash and movement) but I’ve shared a photo of a cardinal from National Geographic so you can get the idea. He’s hard to ignore and is a permanent on the robins’ blacklist. I aspire to such a level of happy insouciance.