Adrift


Every morning when I check on the progress of my late-summer garden, I discover the empty cicada shells, dark brown and crunchy, clinging to trees and fence posts.  The shells are neatly split down the back where the insect, transformed by nature and time, emerged new, all silver-bodied and long-winged, to fly to the tops of the trees and join its brethren in a scratchy wooly song:  irritating and pleasant at the same time.

* * *

My neighbor sent me an email the other day; asked me if I was interested in adopting the rabbit she’s been babysitting for another neighbor.  Actually, she used the word bunny.  Bunnies are cute.  Bunnies are soft.  Bunnies are fuzzy.  Rabbits, you eat.

She told me that with two dogs and two fish and two cats living in our house, the hamster might be feeling a bit unbalanced.  She thought that our family ark was listing to one side.


* * *

Today was my pickup day from our local CSA.  As I cut basil—lemon and purple and Thai—bumblebees hid themselves among the flowers.  A monarch butterfly paused on a purple clover head. 

We came home with ten pounds of tomatoes, too many eggplants, soybeans and peppers and onions.   I pulled my stockpot from the cabinet: In our house, fall means homemade spaghetti sauce.  And fall means school as well: In less than one week, Filibuster will be heading off for her first year of college.  For the past month, I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night, making mental notes: She’ll need a backup pair of glasses.   I forgot to buy a hamper.  Does she need another set of sheets?  Mostly, I worry. 

I worry that I haven’t told her everything I should have. 

I worry that I haven’t told her enough.

After Filibuster leaves to begin one of the biggest transformations of her life, our little unbalanced boat will drift for a bit.  We may flail about for awhile.  We may even fall overboard.  But we’ll hang on and keep going in our little ark held together with love and good wishes and too many animals that cause the boat to list to one side.

And the bunny?

We passed on that.


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Writing in the Margins, Bursting at the Seams: Adrift

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Adrift


Every morning when I check on the progress of my late-summer garden, I discover the empty cicada shells, dark brown and crunchy, clinging to trees and fence posts.  The shells are neatly split down the back where the insect, transformed by nature and time, emerged new, all silver-bodied and long-winged, to fly to the tops of the trees and join its brethren in a scratchy wooly song:  irritating and pleasant at the same time.

* * *

My neighbor sent me an email the other day; asked me if I was interested in adopting the rabbit she’s been babysitting for another neighbor.  Actually, she used the word bunny.  Bunnies are cute.  Bunnies are soft.  Bunnies are fuzzy.  Rabbits, you eat.

She told me that with two dogs and two fish and two cats living in our house, the hamster might be feeling a bit unbalanced.  She thought that our family ark was listing to one side.


* * *

Today was my pickup day from our local CSA.  As I cut basil—lemon and purple and Thai—bumblebees hid themselves among the flowers.  A monarch butterfly paused on a purple clover head. 

We came home with ten pounds of tomatoes, too many eggplants, soybeans and peppers and onions.   I pulled my stockpot from the cabinet: In our house, fall means homemade spaghetti sauce.  And fall means school as well: In less than one week, Filibuster will be heading off for her first year of college.  For the past month, I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night, making mental notes: She’ll need a backup pair of glasses.   I forgot to buy a hamper.  Does she need another set of sheets?  Mostly, I worry. 

I worry that I haven’t told her everything I should have. 

I worry that I haven’t told her enough.

After Filibuster leaves to begin one of the biggest transformations of her life, our little unbalanced boat will drift for a bit.  We may flail about for awhile.  We may even fall overboard.  But we’ll hang on and keep going in our little ark held together with love and good wishes and too many animals that cause the boat to list to one side.

And the bunny?

We passed on that.


Labels: , ,

10 Comments:

At August 16, 2012 at 6:28 PM , Anonymous Lynn A. Davidson said...

Lovely. Beautifully written and wistful.

 
At August 16, 2012 at 10:42 PM , Anonymous Claire McAlpine said...

Reads like the first signs of the approach of a new season of change, wonderful, perfectly capturing the slight angst, yet laced with hope and potential. A bunny no substitute.

 
At August 17, 2012 at 7:27 AM , Anonymous Britton Minor said...

Oh how well I remember dropping my oldest off at college...being strong and supportive just long enough to see her walk into her dorm, then losing it in the car. But she made it, and recently, just before her 31st birthday, completed her Masters as well. Yours will have great experiences, and I can tell that indeed, you have prepared her well for this first burst of independence.

 
At August 17, 2012 at 12:10 PM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading! I appreciate your comments.

 
At August 17, 2012 at 12:10 PM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks, Claire. No, a bunny--and a rabbit--aren't substitutes.

 
At August 17, 2012 at 12:11 PM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks, Lynn!

 
At August 17, 2012 at 4:57 PM , Anonymous jaum said...

Love the way you take a story full circle start out with one, move to another but tie it all together at the end.

 
At August 18, 2012 at 1:30 PM , Anonymous Kid-FreeLiving said...

Beautiful writing - though it is a shame as soon as I hear "rabbit" and "stockpot" within the span of a few seconds, Glenn Close in a bad perm jumps into my brain...

 
At August 19, 2012 at 4:52 AM , Anonymous idiosyncratic eye said...

I think that beautifully captures life. :)

 
At August 19, 2012 at 7:29 AM , Anonymous Heartfeltbalancehandmadelife said...

Good Luck with her transition to college. I remember my "transition" all too well. I'm sure you've told her everything she needs to know by now. Thanks for stopping by the S&R hop! I LOVED reading this. Blessings to you!

 

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