The kitchen counter is covered: a large basket of apples gathered from the ground below the tree suffering from lack of rain and cedar rust, still making fruit that will be cooked into applesauce for small mouths and bodies. Three large boxes of tomatoes picked from the vine of a friend whose garden last year succumbed to chemical drift and deer; this year her garden truly was a victory. The woman beside me who holds her new son, the one she prayed and prayed to have when she wasn't sure she could. The woman with new boots raising her sons and her songs and the place where she belongs; she never stops moving toward these riches.
And Nora running into the double doors of her school, blessed going in, blessed coming out. I marvel at the size of her adult teeth, delighting in the "beaver" stage all kids her age go through. I'm watching her talk. This is a new person I'm meeting every morning, and some mornings we argue over putting on clothes and getting to school on time, and some days we just sit next to each other on the couch, my head on her shoulder, her hand twisting a piece of my hair. Just being. She's growing into her size, into her self. And I am moving through the letting go, sometimes gracefully, sometimes still clinging to the way things were when she was my little one.
Tom and I planting our fall gardens. We go to them, give our reports of miraculous growth in such a short amount of time. Like the two of us, love steps out of time, out of place. We were brave enough to love again, accepting this grace when we had both planned our futures of solitary and determined acceptance. Alone. Instead, with full thanks, our hearts did not harden but cracked open to reveal ourselves in the other, that what was written in the seed of his love was written also in mine.
And I have been meditating hard on the difference between forging ahead and following. And I am realizing that in order to follow, one must accept both protection and a new, unimagined life. This is a mystery I'm still trying to understand. Let go and come to Me. In return, the gifts of yielding that space will be abundant.
From one moment to the next, we are being asked to let go even as I watch the summer garden wilt back to the earth and the trees, already dried from lack of rain, release their leaves early so they might move into the death of dormancy to prepare themselves for next season's waters, the limbs already offering their naked entreaty toward the sky. Let me live again.