Tending the Backseat

Work at the greenhouse is slowing now. The hours are exhausting, but the pace is definitely less. I am waking again with that familiar panic in my chest – soon I will have nothing of value to do. Housework and yard work and relationship work all needs tending. Yet, there will be long summer days of wide open hours demanding to be somehow filled. Despite waiting all winter for this warmth, for this sun, my countenance grinds upon itself like metal against metal. Is the remedy to just do something? It can all feel so very empty.

On my back in the new grass I watch an oriole weave string and thin reeds and fluffy things into a hanging nest high above me. The sway doesn't bother her task. Nearby, the male blazes like a torch; his sing-song whistle carries everything higher.

Spring planting is behind schedule. Even at the greenhouse, the lack of sunlight has delayed shipping. The dogwood on the corner of the house blooms, but barely. To be born under pine shadows is to know the scent and sound of whispers. I am grateful for the Michigan I hate. When her sunlight tingles one might forget about the months of granite ceilings or the snowflakes gathering in the cracks that once held all the incense of summer. With one sky-blue day, all is forgiven. Writing is relegated to the back seat. A friend asks to go hiking and maybe hammocking, because hammocking is a verb now. The earth tilts and all of the sudden I can gaze into the campfire and slowly simmer in a bottle of beer. Days are different now but everything is still laced with the residue of deep and abiding connection. The ripples of heat from July are not yet here. But love is. And I want so badly to let it be.

certain birds
and stars I know –
May I