When my husband and I bought our first house, I intended to live there forever, unpack my two cast iron skillets, have a couple of kids, dig a vast garden, and stay. Then there’s that Robert Burns’ line John Steinbeck retooled, and maybe I should have reflected that line might encompass the lives of women, too…. The best laid schemes of mice and men…. and so on.
Luckily, what I perceived as plans awry has evened out – at least for now. Intrepidly exploring the terrain of where we’re living, I realize, again, just how corporal our lives are, how the angle of light through the kitchen window – whether wide open or filtered through mist – shapes the kernels of our days. Walking through the dusky forest with three girls last night, the muddy path surrounded by August’s copious greenery was all alive, alive: pencil-thin snakes, slugs, a darting rabbit, Cooper Brook running over its pebbles, shallow and clean. As we entered a field of goldenrod and chicory, crickets sang wildly, lusty in the heat of summer.
Simultaneously, I’m re-entering the landscape of the heart through my own daughter stepping into her young adulthood. What a bodily world is love. Those well-made schemes? Perhaps that’s what makes our lives so fascinating – our clever designs, and the universe’s unfolding and rearranging of our blueprints.
A summer river being crossed
with sandals in my hands!