In those moments I seek refuge in a nearly meditative state. While there, my mind draws from an invisible well of haphazardly placed images—places, activities, people, which when called upon? Slow my mind, deepen my breathing—help me feel my way back.
Today in this place, above me laden with late summer leaves, is a canopy made from Maples.
Ahead is a Madrone which leans out over a bank as if stretching her branches toward the water below, her peeling bark exposes her red skin trunk which teases my eyes into believing it is caused by a sunsets kiss. And there are the pines standing taller than I can glimpse from most angles and everything, all this bounty, is framed by a harbor.
My mind drifts to this place much in the way a feather floats on the wind—now in my minds vacation— I reach for a rake.
Moments later swatches of color build, golden hues, crunchy browns, a few greens. The grass beneath rolls out as a quasi-green-brown-shag carpet, the fruits of my labor exposed. Scattered among the leaves I see younger versions of my children—sun parched lips, pockets filled with sand dollars, jumping among the leaves.
I lean the rake, now relieved of its purpose, up against the shed and with pure determination grab the pruning shears and small ax—
The old bramble patch beckons and pulls me in. It is a restorative, if not cathartic process the clearing and planting of this patch. Dig-pull-clear-measure, dig-some-more, clear-some-more, re-measure, plant.
I happen upon a root, a remnant of something long ago unearthed, it has wrapped around rocks and soil as if refusing removal.
Eventually a piece of the root gives way and lands in my hand just as every muscle cries out from the labor and marginal results achieved.
I sit and stare at this little piece of root in my palm then glance back at the larger unyielding piece still in the ground. I puzzle over its origin and contemplate the very length and power of it.
Am I granting it power over me in the very need to expunge it?
Shifting now I place the small broken off root-piece back into the hole and envision the nutrients the root will provide, a compost of sorts, not the enemy to struggle with. Acceptance trickles into my veins, there is no real extraction of past life, our experiences are merely the fertilizer of future.
Later the golden buds dance happily in the breeze—I imagine the tentacles of their roots burrowing into the dirt below—past, present, future, centered in the essence of home.
I feel the ground beneath my own feet…tethered yet again.