Thursday, August 30th, 2018
I can always tell when I’m in- between. It’s not a transition moment where there is overt movement of some kind going on. A cusp moment hangs fire. I am suspended and still. And achingly aware that the moment is full and rich and unique and will end.
I sit on the side porch of our wraparound porch—in my bower.Sequestered by honeysuckle and crab apple and redbud growth that is out of control and protects me. Cicadas bzzzzzzz at a high frequency that immediately connects me to back-to-school excitement of new clothes, new boyfriends, and even learning. I wonder if I’m that weird person that had a good time in grade school, high school and college? (Yep, with one heart break, a few pimples, and a D in college French!) Plenty of hard times later to balance the scorecard, but Fall is all good to me. Spring not so much. (For another time.)
And so, as Summer is about to turn the corner, I collect my images. No photos. I took none. I used to ask my kids to grab an image from their day by counting to three and then I would clap my hands and they would share whatever came to mind. Usually there would be unexpected details. Images aren’t necessarily pretty. So, 1-2-3-Clap.
—Odd first indelible image. I see my son, Ethan, and his wife waltzing to live folk- ish music at the end of a lobster bake at The Sebasco Resort in Maine. The weather is pure Maine Summer. The sun is setting. Their profile is exactly that of the opening dance at their wedding. Annette is tall and naturally graceful. Ethan is handsome and just a little stumbly and they are having a moment of remembering themselves—the two of them only.
—I see the extra bedroom in the cabin we rented at The Sebasco Resort (the family reunion of 19 of us with most in one big ten bed room cabin). Each morning I held a Camp Cousins in this empty room with 7 grandkids to reflect on the day before and to notice what they had done to be helpful so that everyone had a good time—including parents. There were two wiggle worm boys, one shy boy, one sedate (I use the word literally) pre-teen beautiful girl living in her own cusp but doesn’t know it) and one sweet five year old always school ready sitting with crossed legs and one 9 year old eager ready to participate in anything girl. The discussions interesting and innocent and fresh. The kids were sure hooked on their experience of getting stuck in an elevator. Only one in the whole resort and only to the second floor to a restaurant and they managed to get stuck and unheard yelling and pressing the alarm button—twice. Almost drowning was another good topic. And Sour Patch Kids too. I see another granddaughter, naturally naked in the ocean and salt water pool and in her garden—a sprite, a delight. Shockingly, the liked Camp Cousin and got good at self-reflection.
—I see my legs under the covers in our master bedroom/playroom/library/memento center/laundry turn around. I lived like Emily Dickinson for too much of the Summer.I hate/love air-conditioning. I retreated there to breathe and dry off. I was continually condensing from hot to cold and back again. Luckily, I love my duvet. Simple pleasures. Silly image, but true to my Summer.
—I see my granddaughter’ssweet hands, competent hands, expressive hand, soon not to have dimples.I see them poking out as she plays “caterpillar” under the porch couch cover as she struggles to become a butterfly. I see her hands cutting vegetable with aplomb. I see them drawing, drawing, drawing, drawing with shoulders bent in earnest concentration, never stopping until a picture is done and then saying, “I don’t know why I just like to draw”. I see her hands lifting and turning and sliding her favorite water toys in and out of the tub, the galvanized pails, the ocean—three tiny rubber octopi from the dollar store, her pals for three Summers.
—I see my husband, David, 83 years old and in good shape going kayaking at the Sebasco gathering dressed in his gear, walking back from a three- hour trip around the bay, having challenged a thirty year old to a race. And I see him leading a conga line of fifty people around the resort dining room with our kids and grandkids chagrined and proud.
—I see me gestating even when engaged, pondering, weighing, getting ready for a corner I will turn, ready or not, knowing that what is now won’t be the future. I have been on retreat. No writing, not much social life, but filling up on family. Getting ready. I’m cusping. And savoring.