August 21st, 2007

solemnities

It’s not long after I wrote my last post about the heat of summer and, already, the twinge of fall seems to be sneaking into the air. I can taste it. Can you, too, taste it where you are? Do you, like me, breathe in “fall” air differently from the way you do the other seasons? I think fall breathes in a little like Listerine, sharp and clean. A little bite to it. How did it happen so quickly?

I know I’ve written of this feeling before, the way the oncoming of this particular season always seems to hit me; reverberates in me like a hollow echo. It’s about, I think, an emptiness in the turning of leaves, and, too, some great victory there.  Something about luminous color in the midst of a quiet, subtle death. The tragedy of it all; the inevitable defeat; the beauty.

Walking home from the library today with my collar turned up against a cool blow, I was thinking about Jack’s current fascination with the wind. De win’ bow it away! he states matter-of-factly. His eyes are wide, hands up and shoulders shrugging in feigned disbelief at whatever has gone missing. For him, the wind is magic, invisible yet tangible, able to blow paper and hair and whistle without a body. This time of day, about 4:00 closing time, when I pack away the books and start on the short walk back to my boy—this time of day is always my favorite. Anticipating the skip rush and tackle upon opening the door, little hands clinging tightly around my neck, I can’t get there fast enough.

Another fall is upon us, and Jack grows stronger and bigger with each day. What I feel in varying surges of intensity on days like these is his growing—forward-gear accelerated. It’s both wonderful and heart-wrenching, and like the fall, inevitable. A loss that is also a delivery. It’s easy to forget the real work here: we are preparing him to leave us, well and strong.

What I want most for him, as he grows, is to travel with light. I want him to love it here, in this life, because of and despite of. When the fall comes to him each year, I want him to experience that surge of joy and sadness and know what beautiful feels like.

What I want most for me is the courage to let go when he needs me to. For myself, acceptance.

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Posted by: Sarah on August 21st, 2007
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