Every evening this fall when she left work, she noticed that the leaves seemed to glow, holding the last of summer’s light. And yesterday, with the help of the rain and wind, the trees released their golden leaves and the lingering hues of summer tumbled downward in cold clumps.
This morning when she arrived at work, she noticed bare limbs preparing for the weight of snow and the press of winter gray skies. And the corporate landscapers were already busy scooping away the foliage to make the lawn tidy again. Which was too bad, really because she preferred the scattered patterns of the fading leaves and that superbly satisfying rustle underfoot. And the smell of fall among crunchy leaves? – just so nice.
First she got this new job.
Then the commute to work was awful. Just awful.
Then she noticed some days when the traffic seemed to be . . . more manageable.
Then she overheard someone talking about his plans for a holiday she had never ever heard of.
Then she made the connection: holidays/traffic. random holidays/less traffic. Then she lived for – albeit from behind the wheel of her car – every obscure holiday.
And maybe one day she would celebrate one of them, too.
She had been a longtime night owl until that whole adult job / mom combination thing finally got in the way.
The odd thing was that she was still living a little bit like a night owl – awake and alone in the dark with a cup of hot coffee slowly going lukewarm next to her – but now it was because it was ungodly early.
Tonight, she talked to him all the way home.
Out loud. LOUDLY.
She wanted to be heard –
But he wasn’t listening.
He wasn’t even there.
It wouldn’t have mattered anyway,
He said the same things he always did.
She was not someone who seemed like much of an optimist. And yet, she had been completely taken in by his
When she discovered it was not real, those intoxicating things he said and believed, she was surprised to find – it hurt –
and then later, she was surprised to discover herself, a secretly hopeful person, an optimist in stealth battle with cynicism, clinging to humor as a shield.
It was a double whammy bad commute: thick traffic made worse by a two-lane accident and her usual distraction – public radio – was having its annual fundraising drive. She put the car in park and sank deeper into her seat so she could maybe nap a bit. She wished for a stronger bladder and started to vent out loud, alone with herself in the car cabin.
I am always seeking to assure myself that my daughter is “all set” even though I know this is one kid who is never ever “all set.” She’s restless, in a way that bodes well for her future – always pushing for more, bigger, better, newer, what’s next….but it’s exhausting to live around the periphery of that swirl. She will be a survivor, for sure, if not possibly the head of a small nation state. Still, the raising of such a child sometimes has the feel of psychotic episodes – not parenting at all.
Her therapist suggested meditation, and she decided it was worth a try. After all, the worst that could happen is that she might finally get in touch with her third eye and poke that one out too…..