Sunday, May 6, 2012

Bursting with Anticipation- A Mid Spring Day's Dream

I am, for the first time in a very long while, filled with hope and bursting with anticipation.  Bursting.  Really.  It’s getting rather foolish and seeming oddly out of character, I’m sure.  At times, I myself, can’t believe it.  I suppose I can’t believe how incredibly long it has been since I have felt, for lack of a better word, Ready.  Ready for what lies ahead.  Ready for what life offers.  Ready for spring, and then summer.  Ready for exploration and risk-taking.  Mild, and safe of course, within my, well, maybe just beyond my comfort zone.  I feel at times recently, like I was in the right place at the right time.  Or right smack in the middle of Shakespeare’s A  Mid Summer Night's Dream and Puck splashed his love potion my way.  All giddy like and foolish I’m behaving.  Oberon might be enjoying the results for a bit.  Theseus as well.

I’m dancing, lately….  A lot.   Just all out crazy dancing in my studio space that looks out over the Hudson.   While painting or considering where to apply paint on my canvas or paper I just start dancing.  Definitely, painting while dancing.  Risk-taking, painting.  Large and bright.  Stretching and pushing these limits I have put on myself, or permitted others to for far too long.  I even went dancing last weekend with a friend and felt completely free.  No inhibitions.  Not even a slight need for intoxication to kick in to feel uninhibited, I just danced.  Free and dancing, me, surely Puck and Oberon and Theseus are involved.

I have a garden this spring.  It’s bursting.  Bold and bright.  Bulbs and annuals playfully dance in the gentle breezes.  My perennials are starting to come up.  Hope and anticipation has replaced the mourning and sadness that shadowed my garden last spring.  I had the year before, left a garden that had been nurtured, and wrestled and toiled in for over twelve years.  It was grander than the garden I had on two prior locations.  It had gotten to a point of magnificence.  Perennials, bulbs, annuals, self-seeding and reborn.  Lupine, foxglove, cultivated poppies, California poppies, tulips, hyacinth, daffodils, lemon balm, sage, rosemary, begonias, bee balm, bleeding hearts, Solomon’s cross, globe thistle, yarrow, lavender, lily of the valley, calendula, petunias, pansies, roses, so many roses, hibiscus, hostas, magnolia trees, dogwood, lilac, iris and lilies...  so many more.

When I first came to the Hudson Valley, this garden presented itself to me as a challenge.  The “gardener” that had once maintained it, presented himself the first spring we moved in.  A gardener?  I could not even fathom the concept. It was not a luxury we could afford, but the job was daunting.   It was a job I did alone, happily at first, for a time resentfully and then again with great pride and peace.  At times I tended this garden with children.  Occasionally happily they joined, other times annoyed.  Sometimes, it was where I mothered best.  While seemingly focused on weeds and roots, I could pull and struggle while allaying to my children that their struggles were not minor or meaningless.   I used this space to teach and talk and nurture.  They could find me here from 6 am, on if I were not with them on some other pursuit. 

I brought rocks to this garden, mounds and mounds of rocks.  Friends helped or encouraged or took part in secret rock rescue missions.  An old friend  delivered a dump truck full of rocks to this garden for my fortieth birthday, there, in that place that I will never again call home.  It was, one of the best presents I ever received, a dump truck full of rocks.  It took seven years to move the rocks around.  Boulders actually.  These rocks also helped to make the garden a place for teaching.  “Do you know how the great pyramids were built?  I questioned as we made make-shift levers and attempted to move boulders the size of steamer trunks and the weight of Sumo wrestlers.

This garden grew and changed and flourished much like my life, and at times waned, morosely, like my marriage.  Leaving it behind was torment, nevertheless.  This garden was my sanctuary and my refuge.  It was where I wrestled, and wondered and found my way.  It was where I was restored and energized.   It was where I spent much time alone learning who I was and what I might be capable of.  With great confidence and peace I finally left, with children, never to return.

Last year, I had no garden to toil in, but I had much to wrestle and worry and remorse over.  I was not at that time, ready.  Or dancing.  Or anticipating. I was surviving and questioning and dreading.   What had become of so much and what had been left for my children to make sense of?   Slowly, I started accepting and allowing and actively moving forward.

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