A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path. -Agatha Christie, The Hound of Death On January 19th, my authentic, loving (so loving), giving, quirky, and beautiful mother took her last labored breath. All we could do was hold her hands and try not to fall apart. I never wanted anything more than to see her finally go after what she’d been through. A good friend who lost her father years before explained to me how she couldn’t wait for him to pass away at the end. I remember feeling disbelief because I couldn’t imagine wanting my mom to leave. It takes watching someone you love suffer to understand that feeling. I am not particularly spiritual and yet I prayed to God out loud and in my head to please take her and end her pain. Now, I’d give an awful lot for just one more day to see her, hold her hand, touch …
We knew moving away from the city would be a huge transition. Though we grew up in rural areas, Chris and I had both been in and around Boston for more than 10 years (Chris closer to 20 years). That would be 10+ years of living a short walk to a convenience store, having any type of cuisine imaginable delivered to our home, a steady hum of noise, short walks to the park, unplanned visits with our neighbors, and being mere minutes from any sort of cultural activity we could dream of in Boston. We also spent years longing for more space, less traffic, and more nature.
Hello. How are you? It’s so typical of me to talk about myself, I’m sorry. (If you tell me you don’t like that song, I’ll know you are lying.) I’ll share with you the unfinished (now finished-and oh my how much has happened since I wrote most of this) last post I was working on months ago before I landed in a big pile of survival mode and had to stop blogging for a bit. I think it is timely now, because though the holidays can be joyous (seeing Christmas through your child’s eyes cannot be described in earthly words) and full of love (I’m sorry to tell you all that my husband is the very best there is), they can be utterly stressful
Sleeping in is physically impossible for me. Often Anderson will wake up around 5:00 am. He’ll come into our room with the sweetest little pitter patter of feet that always wake me up and he’ll ask me, “Momma, can I get in the big bed?”
The food supply. The environment. Bees. The delicate state these things are all in and how it is all changing rapidly. Crisis. These things have been weighing heavily on my mind.
I have no business writing a blog post right now. I’m up to my eyeballs in nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, Rachel Carson, and a solid debate on whether or not an abandoned orchard can be labeled as organic, thanks to the Stockbridge School of Agriculture. Top that off with house prep (do thoughts about house prep count?), a full-time job with a lousy commute, a social schedule chock full of birthdays and weddings, and trying to fit being a mom and a wife in there (one that makes dinner and showers). This sounds like a whinge, but it is not. These are all happy things (aside from the commute, which is temporary), but a bit crazy overwhelming.
Yes, I’m posting about hot chocolate in June. As I write this, it is 48 degrees outside and our heat is on. Yes, I’m clearly smitten with bourbon and it finds its way into so many things I’ve made lately. And no, I don’t only consume chocolate, heavy cream, and bourbon, though if I were the type of person with a raging metabolism, I probably would. As good as it is on the rocks with ginger ale and lime on a hot summer day, the sweet warmth of bourbon also serves as an excellent comfort drink for a wet, cold-to-the-bone kind of day.
My how weekend nights with friends have changed with parenthood. What used to be late nights of excessive imbibing, decadent food, perhaps some sort of objectionable board game, and raucous laughter has morphed into takeout, the sounds of running feet and something Disney in the background (or maybe The Gruffalo if we’re feeling particularly highbrow), and sippy cups sitting among the highball glasses (consumed very gently now, as young children and hangovers do not mix). I’m not complaining. It is priceless.
This week, I received an email from my former colleagues at photo.net letting me know we had a very special opportunity to talk with Anne Geddes. Naturally, I agreed to do the interview. One of the most prolific photographers of our time, this woman inspired so many others to break away from standard portraiture with images that tell a story. She doesn’t create photographs; she creates iconic works of art using the most pure and innocent subject matter that exists.
But I’ll push myself up through the dirt And shake my petals free I’m resolved to being born And so resigned to bravery -Dar Williams, “Spring String” (from The Green World) Some like to have a fresh start on New Year’s Eve, but my fresh start comes in April. April pulls me out of the dark winter with tiny buds of promise. It brings actual earthy smells in the air, rain, dirt, plants, longer days, color, and time spent away from the drudgery of technology. It also brings memories of my time with Anderson as a newborn, which is one of the happiest times of my life. It pulls me out of survival mode and allows me to look forward to simple things, like camping on Memorial Day and playing on the beach and ocean path runs. With Earth Day on the mind, it is also a perfect time for a “check in” with how we are doing from an environmental standpoint. We do a pretty good job, but we can do better. I thought I’d share a few …