Look, friends: a garden.
Remember last month (my, it’s been long) when I wrote of an impending move? Well, here we are, in a garden. It’s a good one: full of ferns and a cherry tree and an elegant green canopy of a concord grapes, unripe – and mint to stir juleps for us all an evening over. There’s just enough moss between the stones to make things right under bare feet. It’s so impossibly far from the city right inside her.
Tonight I drank tea in the grass and inhaled just-rained-on air. I brushed my hands over the mint like my Yia-Yia does to oregano, bringing it close to my nose on my fingertips.
There are bumblebees about, on account of the summer and the flowers.
Here comes a summer of movement: new house, new neighbourhood, new position at work, new nephew. Consistency is reassuring and good. I like familiar breakfasts, tracing the same steps to the office each morning, my usual tea cup. The truth is, I’m not much good at embracing changes one after the other. I’m happiest just to sit here a while, steeping in the silence. I am bracing myself for this soon-to-come period of rapid-fire newness, trying my best not to clench up.
I’m spending 10 days in New York City at the start of July, and I think it’s my subconscious way of preparing mentally for movement. I planned this trip without an inkling of everything that would follow it, but it’s become strangely and comfortingly symbolic. Ten days of solitude and recharging and uninterrupted thought to prepare for what’s next. I’m so happy to think of being swallowed up by a great big gorgeous chaotic city where I know no one and no one knows me and I can feel a bit lost and am beholden to none.
At times of late, I’ve felt guilty about my tiny solo expedition. That I don’t want to share it with anyone. That I want to keep it to myself, held close, in secret. But we prepare ourselves in different ways. There is no need to be apologetic or weighty with guilt. Traveling alone, I become hyper-aware of life and this day: it’s sharper, tastier, so full of light. I love everything more because of its absence.
It’s these simple song lyrics, never mind ones from a carol that I’m humming mid-June: Everything’s different, but nothing has changed / We are going in circles, it’s Christmas again. Here: I will sit in a new backyard in a new part of town, I will walk a new path to the office and sit at a new desk, I will cradle my sister’s new son in arm.
Everything different is familiar eventually. We make preparations. We sometimes exhaust our stores. But we find our own best ways to keep mostly intact, through the movement.
[photo, with thanks, via]