Monday, November 23, 2015

Fireside cleanup

A day to remember.  Though all days are even when they are not.

Today I tackled a few jobs that I put off for a year and a half because I … well, I don’t exactly know except I thought they would be big projects and so I didn’t want to face them.  One was the burn pile… the burn pile that contained trees from the first burn pile a couple of years ago when we bulldozed the buildings here … trees that didn’t burn the first time.  The other project was cutting up the I-beams from the mobile home we demolished.  That metal has been an eyesore for so long and now its all done.  We made a huge inroad away from “junkyard” and toward “pasture”.  It took all day and I am pretty exhausted, but the splinter in my brain has been removed and the relief is pretty sweet.

As an added bonus, I sat in the dark with two of my kids at two different times and we just talked.  Esme and I got to talk about 6 year old stuff and I got to be present and hold her in the soft evening with the cool air mixed with the heat from the fire.  Then after dinner I made Zoe go out with me because she was having a difficult time.  She stormed out there and I brought two chairs and we just sat in silence for awhile.  Eventually, as the sparks circled and zoomed up toward the dark sky, our words started to circle and buzz.  We ended up having one of the most wonderful conversations of my life.  My shins were on fire and my back was cold.  The sparks would occasionally land on my bare legs because I just had a sweatshirt and boxers on – with muck boots of course.   Religion, fate, the dichotomy of good and bad, the universe, books we read, people, the future, her future…  I was alive tonight, I was real.  It rained on us for awhile and we just ignored it.  Now I’m left with that perfect feeling that cannot be talked about as good or bad, happy or sad.  It’s simply perfect.  I once described the feeling as the chilly glow after a perfect day and that’s as close as I can get to capturing where I am.  Thank you, universe – I didn’t deserve such a gift, but I shall treasure it.  Zoe asked me if I thought there was a higher power and I answered that I am pretty sure there is no bearded white guy “up there” – but that the mysteries of the universe are just so enormous that I am pretty sure there is something going on that is pretty difficult for humans to comprehend...

I don’t remember where the time went
Just the motion of the night
The moonless talk on burning stumps
A continual begin
I remember occasionally moving logs and chairs
And the burning of my shins
All else I simply felt

As something opened deep within.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Samhain, Billy?

Ah, Halloween has come and gone again.  We went to our little community center for the first time for the Halloween party.  Adia and Zoe both won 1st prize in their age groups... granted, Zoe was all alone and Adia only had 2 competitors:)  We met new folks in the area and that was really encouraging.  Overall, very nice.  Halloween night we went down to Glade and the town square was hoppin'.  Maw Maw took them around town square while Ash and I went to the brewery and had a beer with the usual crowd.  Tim's nephew fired up the smoker and put some amazing meat out on the bar.  It was pretty sweet to be sipping on local beer and nibbling on amazing BBQ in Glade while tons of folks trick-or-treated outside.  Once we got back, I took the two young ones out again in the dark to go down our old road. We talked to the neighbors and bounced from house to house.  At the end of the road we went up and over the sledding hill and down the pasture to the cemetery.  No light.  At the cemetery we read the old graves - most dated from mid 1800's.  The kids loved it.  We made our way back to town as the last walkers out on the road.

After I came in tonight from setting posts for the shed addition to the house (2 days, 2 posts, but they are plumb and square, darn it)  Ash was telling the kids about Samhain (SAH-win) a time in between the equinox and the winter solstice that is the festival of the dead and a time when the veil between this world and the next (or previous??) is very thin.  Many recognize those ancestors that have already passed on and we talked to the kids about those that she and I have lost.  I told the kids about all my grandparents, some friends and students, and Billy, of course.  Then I realized that last week ... I had my most vivid Billy dream ever.  In previous dreams, he is just a presence, but in this one I first meet his child and then out of a building, ol' Bill just walks over to us.  I am truly in shock - choking as I wonder at the fact that he is not dead... and has a kid:)  We start talking and I say something like "you being here does not make sense... it only works if this is a dream" and he just nods and says "that's right".  And in the dream I realize that I am dreaming.  I step back and just look at him and look all around and look at him and listen to him and all the while thinking that I am going to wake up any minute and that I didn't want it to happen.  I woke up suddenly, gasping.  And that was it.

Its been over 20 years and he just appeared like that.  Samhain.  Maybe the veil was thin... maybe I just miss that joker.  So odd to see this time as a 40-something father.  A man with young children, a man who has lost some in his life, but hasn't felt the flood of loss as my generation comes to an end.  I feel a bit like I am Samhain .... a time in between the the equinox  and the shortest day.  Like I am in the 70th minute sometimes - still in the game but the clock ever present.... and other times I feel like I'm walking on the field just after half, chewing on an orange.