Tuesday, January 14, 2014
She tapped on the driver's side window while traffic weaved around her. I was searching for change to feed the meter. Her gray hair tangled, limp and blue eyes bright. In her hand was an egg carton. She motioned for me to roll down the window. As the window disappeared into the door, her face drew nearer. A street map of wrinkles, some wide avenues traced near her winter weary mouth.
From the carton she plucked a white egg and held it out. "This is for you," she said. "You need this."
I held out my hand and she carefully placed it on my palm. The cold white weight of this egg nested
in my hand. "Thank you for giving it to me," I stammer. Then, she turns and crosses the street her gray hair flying in a biting wind.
I wonder why I have been gifted with this egg? A white egg from a street woman who knows I need
to remember that sacred moments come in unexpected ways and wonder comes in a white egg.
SOLers: This experience is true and happened yesterday as I was parking my car in front of a building at a university campus. I was on my way into an interview for admission to the Southern Maine Writing Project. The first thing I was asked to do was a ten minute write about this prompt: Why Write? I wrote about the white egg.
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
The bitter cold is captured on the frosted bay view window panes this morning. The house moans about the arthritis in her bones. Timbers that were hewn from local hardwood and pine. She's earned the right to complain, being one hundred twenty years old to moan whenever the mood strikes.
As I walk down the stairs to make my morning coffee and oatmeal, she crackles and whines about her third step from the bottom being particularly sore. I've heard this many times from her. She tells the same story over and over again like I've just arrived for a visit, rather than, lived with her for decades. Yet, I listen anyway, and take comfort in the litany of aches and pains.
My body does its own story telling, as I do my morning stretches on the pumpkin pine floor. Each vertebra in my spine popping like bubble wrap and the deep sighs of tight calf muscles waking up on this last day of sub-zero December.
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Encased in Ice
Three days of sleet, rain, and freezing fog. I woke up this Christmas Eve Day to a world encased in ice. Every surface shiny with brittle glaze that crunches under my careful steps. I let the dog out the door and watch her skitter down the stairs onto the snow covered lawn. Her claws scratching for traction, she skates on top of the snow.
Stillness of silence, save for the crackling of falling branches, deep in the woods of this mountain. Salt and sand will be my companions today. The steepness of the driveway slips down to the main road where frozen slush covers the black tar and I have an agenda. The errands, last minute presents, stocking stuffers, groceries are weighing heavy on my mind like the glaze of ice weighing down the birches. Their slender trunks bent over with branches brushing the snow. I've waited three days for the storm to pass. The birches simply wait for sun and thaw. There is a lesson in it for me today. A lesson I spend my lifetime to learn.