I see the world from my own personal point of view. I know my own story, and I can see the roles other people play in it. But the world doesn’t revolve around me. I play a role in other people’s stories, too. Sometimes I’m an extra–another face in the grocery aisle as a widower goes to the store alone for the first time in forty years. Sometimes I’m a villain–the one who was in such a hurry that I cut off a lady in traffic and made her sit at that long red light twice, causing her to be late for an appointment. Sometimes I get to be an angel–swooping in to someone’s rescue before flying off again. Sometimes […]
There— Do you see it?— There, At the end of the long aluminum guard rail, There At the edge of the tire-tracked gravel Spilled over from the rumble-stripped asphalt, There, In the shadow of the wooden cross Wreathed by silk flowers, There, Among the shards of broken glass A wildflower blooms.
I am married to a man who can solve a Rubik’s Cube in just over one minute. I’m baffled each time I watch him do it. The moment he solves one part, he begins unmaking it in order to pursue the next level of completion. What I thought was accomplished now looks undone. Once that level is complete, colors get even more jumbled as he puts other pieces into their proper places. It’s a messy prospect. I get a bit squeamish watching it. But then, all it takes is the flick of a wrist… And all is made right again. Whole. Complete. I am that Rubik’s Cube. This process of unmaking and rearranging of pieces is messy. I’m holding out […]
Marriage is like turning a marathon into a 3-legged race. I’m running along at my own pace, eyes fixed on the goal, when I sense someone running beside me. I look over and see you running toward the same goal at about the same pace. We fall in step and decide that running this race is better as a team, so we stop and bind ourselves to one another hand and foot. At first we’re just happy for the companionship, and even though we’re bumbling along trying to find a new stride, the challenges are fun. But then the binds grow tight and chafe, cutting deep into the flesh. Indeed, the binds have fused our flesh together so it’s impossible […]
Our garden continues to teach me about life. This week Mick and I had the rare opportunity to work in the garden together. We tilled up the rows that flooded and prepared to mound them like the rows of mounds that not only survived the heavy rains, but thrived in them. We decided to do three rows of alternating mounds with the center row offset from the other two. Mick and I began working simultaneously. I envisioned us working side by side in rhythm down the length of the garden, but I quickly became frustrated. No matter how hard I tried, I could not get my mounds in the right place or to the right size. I seemed to be […]
I could see the worry in his eyes as he sat buckled into his car seat. I closed the door and climbed into the driver’s seat for the short commute to school. My six-year-old had just been hit with the sobering news that his older brother’s classmate lost her dad last week. “How did he die?” He asked the question in earnest, and when I was slow to respond, he quickly asked again. Behind the question, I could hear wheels turning, trying to comprehend that the death of a parent is a real possibility in the world he lives in. I could hear his unspoken questions, too. Could that happen to you? What if you or Dad died? Am I […]