Long winter. Longish life.


I haven't written in a while because I talk too much and say only one thing: rain, rain, more rain. 

It's grey again and my stomach rumbles, or is that my hip? Something is rusted, shut. 

This long winter. This season of life. I celebrated a half-century and a friend reminded me that there was a time when 25 seemed like a feat I would fail. Oh, but for the grace of . . . protecting me from myself. I did not know what I did not know. 

For months now, we hurry up and wait. Each day is crisis or calm. 

At the nursing home where I work, people die. And I am always surprised. Not that they die, but that it always feels sudden even when I know it's coming.

I want to say life is long stretches of gray. Not just the sky but day-to-day. It's murk. You think you'll make decisions, or have time, or just know. But such defining moments are rare. And yet we keep expecting to offer a yes or no or now. As if we have control. As if we hold both charity and clarity. 

Today I drove for hours across farms and fields and rain-soaked road. As a young reporter, wide-eyed, eager, open, I traveled country roads just like this.

I'm trying to say I've circled back and have learned so little. And yet the mind, the body now hold much more. Is this of use? Am I of use? I do not know.

I was once charmed by these small towns half asleep. This would pull me: empty storefront, broken window, wide sky. I'd search for the sagging barn, a falling down house. I was camera and focus, giving image to a brokenness within.  

Now, I feel a numb sort of sad for the struggle of getting by, of nothing stretched across years of it'll do. Even the silos seem to be mourning. Never full but not quite empty. A perpetual vacancy.

Yes, I've gained weight . . . there is a heft to me now, in years and experience. I'm not so much "older and wiser" but living with a lens that offers a longer view. In this, some perspective, some relief.