November’s treasures

Not working for several weeks and quarantined, I wandered into the remote corners of my mind the way you might a bad neighborhood after dark. I grew obsessive about the leaves, raking and mulching, picking them up by hand. I discovered the hidden grace of our garage, mounting the red heat lamp from the chicken coop…wondering if it would hatch ideas if I sat under it too. Or heading out on the trail to parts of the park I hadn’t been to in years, the outer edges. Coming upon a play area like we’d take the kids when they were young and didn’t have a say in what we did. The past is in us but disappears like dead leaves underfoot.

Daylight is a slow uphill climb this time of year and a vague reward once we get there. I try to take the long view and be grateful for this time we’re spending together as a family but it’s not what the kids actually want or need, they need to be away with their friends. I yo-yo around the yard occupying myself, for the soul needs a reminder that there’s more beyond itself. And if the soul is elastic, will the stretch marks show when all of this is over?

Somehow we’d find a way to romanticize this time even. The Sunday drives, the random trips to the Dairy Queen. And though I had so much of it, I honestly can’t say how I used all that time I had unemployed, it just flowed right through me. Without ceremony I turned 50, and the past grew bigger as the future narrowed to a smaller frame, mine for the making.

Categories: Memoir, writing

Tags: ,

20 replies

  1. Your closing line is so, so true … tho no one truly knows their half-way mark, chances are 50 puts you over the divide. Hope you make what’s left into lots more intriguing essays.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I like these a lot: “I wandered into the remote corners of my mind the way you might a bad neighborhood after dark” & “the past grew bigger as the future narrowed to a smaller frame.” Right there with ya.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Perhaps we’re all getting a bit sick of each other. Still, I cherish this overdose of time with my teenagers, a time when they would and should be finding their own way. Our relationships with our children are being molded into new shapes this year, not better, not worse, just new. Well, maybe better for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The idea of the heat lamp hatching ideas made me laugh, but the beautiful poignancy of what followed affected me just as much, albeit in a different way. Clearly we’ve all been cooped up too long.
    Happy belated birthday, by the way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Christopher! Nice to hear from you and thanks for that greeting and lovely note. I’ve enjoyed your musings from TN over this past year too. Yes, cooped up too long and that is a corny but fun reference to the red incubation lamp, happy you caught that. And that we can make use of that bulb since we don’t got no chickens any more! Be well, thanks for reading and commenting I appreciate it. Bill

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m hoping that narrow frame sharpens the focus. But if that were a camera aperture, that would be opposite, right? Can I squeeze some kind of metaphor out of this one way or the other? Should I switch lenses? Maybe a flash?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your descriptive term of the slow uphill climb of the day with the vague reward when we get there–well that is perfect for this time of year and this GPS coordinate. I like this Bill. It feels right for right now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Ilona and happy December to you! What a year. Hope you and your guy are doing well at this GPS coordinate, as you say (I like that). Thanks for reading, and hope we connect again before the year is through. Bill

      Liked by 1 person

  7. 50 is a new milestone and like they say, age is a number as we look at past achievements, moments and challenges. It’s been a tough year for most of us and am sure it gives you strength, Bill. Merry Xmas.

    Liked by 1 person

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