spring in North Carolina
nestles in my palm quietly
tells me to just be
quiet is how I am today
I woke this morning to the comfort of Saturday. My son called out, “Daddy! Daddy!”
The gorgeous attentive voice of my husband responds rhythmically, “Benjamin.” There is talk of making pancakes and breakfast. “Oh no, there is no milk. We have to go to the store. Benjamin, do you want to be my helper and go get milk with me?”
I laid in bed, reached over to Ben’s toddler bed that is filled with stuffed animals, clothes, books, debris from the fact Ben sleeps in our bed, right next to his. I reached for Natalie Goldberg, and the crisp white glossy cover of Writing Down the Bones. I read three short chapters that filled me with peace, with recognition — I am an artist, a writer, a human. Her words percolated and dripped into my mind, as the coffee pot hiccuped its brew. The birds chirped outside the navy blue curtains, light peeked through, dancing a tango with the world outside.
I am filled with peace today. The church bells chime in the distance. Saturday’s calm greets me with open arms as I sit on the porch this morning and write.
As I walked through the house after making a choice to read first thing this morning, I realized I am hungry for detail. I have always been hungry, and just as Natalie Godlberg says, writers stalk their prey, they observe the world around them and eat up every detail, I gobbled up morning light and shadows as they danced on the bathroom wall. I saw the light peeking through my artroom/writing studio/office I share with my husband that is destroyed according to Martha Stewart cleaning standards (really anyone’s standards), and accepted this is my ordinary extraordinary detail Goldberg talks about.
The extraordinary, a red cardinal peeks at me in the now petal-less Dogwood. And then takes off in flight at an angle so close to my front porch.
A female cardinal calls to him, like the words call to me. And the cardinal is gone. A squirrel hippety hops across the telephone lines, horizontal on the thin cable. Now I look up and the squirrel in on top of the telephone pole, looking right at me. Eye contact if I had a zoom lens. The blue Carolina sky is a backdrop behind us. The squirrel’s bushy tail swishing, twirling. A bird flies across this natural plane, splitting the angle perpendicular.
Photo by Megan Oteri (c) (A photo on my cell phone camera – share it if you want it)
Beauty is everywhere today, but most importantly, it calls to me and I listen.
― Natalie Goldberg, Long Quiet Highway: Waking Up in America