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
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: Creative non-fiction, essays, Raising Children