Sunday, March 23, 2014

Marching Forward


This evening, as I walked home, it was light for the first time in months. The sky was robin's egg blue and it was finally warm enough to shed a scarf and feel the breeze on the back of my neck. It was perfect.

Just like the cherry blossoms, I am not yet ready to burst out and face the changing of the season, but I know that I am on the cusp of change, a new chapter and a new time. My corner has been a place of hurrying quiet. The kind of hurrying that happens when you take up a third zip code, sign on to a new job, close one chapter before realizing that a new one is unfolding right before your very eyes and fall quiet amidst the chaos. I have been so fortunate to have a supportive team to wake up to every morning with a cup of coffee, that welcomes me home at the end of each day with a hug and a home cooked meal and has made me a part of their family.

I am so lucky to have found a new home, one that I fell in love with at first sight. Before a single box had been unpacked, I knew that it was the space where I wanted to spend lazy weekends reading the newspaper, where I wanted to host cook–outs in the backyard, where all my friends could gather around the living room and take part in long dinner parties. And in the midst of all this I turned a year older.

Such Singing in the Wild Branches (2003)

It was spring
 and finally I heard him among the first leaves—
then I saw him clutching the limb

in an island of shade 
with his red-brown feathers
 all trim and neat for the new year.
 First, I stood still
and thought of nothing.

Then I began to listen.
 Then I was filled with gladness—
and that's when it happened,

when I seemed to float,
 to be, myself, a wing or a tree—
and I began to understand

what the bird was saying,

and the sands in the glass


for a pure white moment

while gravity sprinkled upward

like rain, rising,

and in fact
it became difficult to tell just what it was that was singing—

it was the thrush for sure, but it seemed

not a single thrush, but himself, and all his brothers,

and also the trees around them,

as well as the gliding, long-tailed clouds

in the perfectly blue sky— all, all of them

were singing.

And, of course, yes, so it seemed,

so was I.

Such soft and solemn and perfect music doesn't last

for more than a few moments.

It's one of those magical places wise people
like to talk about.
One of the things they say about it, that is true,

is that, once you've been there,

you're there forever.
Listen, everyone has a chance.
Is it spring, is it morning?

Are there trees near you,
and does your own soul need comforting?
Quick, then— open the door and fly on your heavy feet; the song

may already be drifting away.

— Mary Oliver

This cup is for my DC family
And for Stephanie

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