we snuck away, you know.  the girls and i headed north back home where i consider home - to where my mother considered home since she was two.  my grandmother’s house hasn’t changed much since i was small and the mirrors i see myself reflected in were the same ones i danced in front of when i was small.  the pictures haven’t changed, just multiplied.  the decor hasn’t changed, just gathered some dust.  it’s a time capsule.  the universe sort of folds in on itself when i’m watching my children play with the same toys i played with in the same room, at the same table, in the same chairs.

i took my first steps right there.  same tile.  same floor.  same hall.  i’ve always loved this photo.  time bender.

we escaped highland park and headed toward the city to have dinner with friends we miss.  mae and miles even convinced us it would be a good idea for them to have a slumber party.  it was a good idea.  bittersweet though in that our time together is always too short and the few moments we talk or laugh are gobbled up and the kids need to be tended to and moments of silence being side by side need to be reveled in.

as a kid i always wanted to go to the theater on central.  it’s right across the street from our usual breakfast joint and it would call to me on the breeze.  we were always rushing though.  always.  i remember there never being time to walk or shop or do much of anything really outside our path of habit.  SO, to the theater we went.  the girls and i saw mirror, mirror for a whopping $15.  the seats were wooden and creaky and the bare floors bounced every word into earshot.  we had to be very, very quiet.  alizah was freaked out so mae let her sit in the middle.  such funny girls.

so, back.  it’s so very good.  hubs missed us so badly he called on tuesday morning wanting to know when we’d be home.  he said the dog sat at the window every day looking for us.  those boys.

i was right where i was supposed to be. xo


timing is everything, right?  that’s what “they” say?  it’s true and timing can have the power to make you feel like your life is heading straight for the shitter and the power to make you feel like you’re perfectly balanced on the beam of the divine path.

heather made me feel that way last week - like timing was at play.  i don’t always show my joy as it can be diluted with fret and a curious shyness.  it was timing though, because there is no other explanation for putting something off for so terribly long, then on a whim getting on board with no indication that the simple act would cause an alignment or… eclipse of sorts.

this morning it rose again and put the taproot in my hands that has been sitting in a pile of bills, coupons, and school field trip papers on the kitchen counter for weeks.  mae was content, and i had mindless knitting to complete, and having my eyes on magazine pages would take my attention off the repetition of identical stitches row after row.

soil. something i’ve had my hands and feet in every day now of this warm and often downright hot march.  i say i think every child should eat a healthy serving of dirt and i put my words into action. i’ve found myself cooking dinner - chopping and scooping and stirring with soil smeared on my palms and dug deep under my nails. i think about my mother telling me to “brush it off” when i dropped a juicy slice of watermelon on the ground… and then she would say as i eyed the fruit, “it’s just nice, clean dirt.”  yes, yes.  nice, clean dirt indeed.  gritty and alive.  

reading the articles, page after page was like reading from my imagination.  all the things i think while standing under a warm spray in the shower or while digging up weeds or chopping greens.  the stories were in my hands and before my eyes at just the right moment when my own thoughts had brought me to the same topics days and weeks before.  dandelions.  i just wrote about the pang i feel every time i dig one up and toss it aside…. or the bending and flexing of raising young women… or the time-outs i give myself to sit and stare at the garden for no particular reason at all - or to get centered and quite literally grounded.

the only disconnect for me is the northeast and i’ll admit, i’ve spent nearly no time in the region at all.  the roots i’ve grown are not from a farming family’s soil and my childhood was not spent tending or connecting.  i grew up in the mid-west save my rocky mountain birthplace.  my mother worked in offices, my father in racing.  our homes were condos or pre-fabs and our one beautiful farmhouse was tucked in the heart of an armpit of a town.  my father was raised in a world most people never know where yachts and vintage race cars are toys and those old paintings on the walls had “picasso” printed in the corners.  we are as far from grass roots as possible.

i had a brief encounter with my now dream when i was too young to notice which, again, is all about timing.  i lived in south eastern ohio on a hundred acre vineyard in a beautiful home with a root cellar, an outhouse, a dream kitchen with row after row of enormous glass jars filled with herbs, and rickety wood floors covered in layers of oriental rugs….. and i could care less.  right place, wrong time, wrong guy…  ha!

the fact that i’ve had to bring up my beliefs on my own about what is right and “normal” against the rest of the world armed with hand sanitizer is a damn miracle.  and how my parents have grown and changed so much over the course of these years… quite unbelievable, too.  my “good, clean dirt” mother has joined the army of the sanitized nation and my father…. my father.  a cattle rancher.  sun worn in a halo of dust and silver hair and happy.  he births calves and builds fences and when we visit him it’s hard for me to leave.  it’s so hard really that it’s like bits of me are being ripped off as we say goodbye - and not because of him even, but because time ticks differently there.  the pace is not slower as you would think, but faster, faster, so fast that it’s breakfast, blink, lunch, blink, dinner, blink, what happened?  and the sky opens to expose the expanse of the heavens and the darkest nights are shining with a heartbreaking sea of stars.  life seems more real.  there is work to be done and the laundry is the easiest of the tasks.

good timing, taproot.  good timing indeed.