Monday, August 4, 2008
Some say there is a place called Limbo.
A vague, almost mystic spot in time that exists between Heaven and Hell. It's a state of transition, of temporary confinement- of quiet oblivion.
I have always thought that August was a sort of earthly limbo.
A calm, almost floating space of days that exists between summer and fall.
Some use the term, "August at its peak".
I can see that invisible peak now.
August is like a roller coaster that you board in the summer - ride its curves and bends- rise with its peak-
and emerge at the other end, deeply aware of autumn's coming.
Your soul is suddenly seeped in the unseen ghosts of a new season that has not yet arrived.
August has always been a month of reflection for me.
A time of looking back, but yet, looking forward.
Of remembering special summer moments, but at the same time, anticipating events that will shape themselves in the days to come.
From my front porch, I watch August as it unfolds...
Soon the school bus will roar down the dusty summer roads.
Each year I watch as its yellow face appears around the curve, dancing with bouncing children.
If I blur my eyes just right, I can almost see my children there, smiling and waving back at me from the windows.
Remembering how I sent them off to school, my heart full of love and concern- but with an emptiness only a mother can know.
The world is quiet today.
August pulls the life from the grass and trees, leaving curled clover beneath my bare feet as I walk to the garden.
The surface of the pond pops occasionally with a hungry fish- its murky surface showing a cloudless sky with ripples of mid-day heat.
There were fun days here.
Days when the kids squealed as night crawlers were baited on their hooks-
their little, sweaty heads glistening in the sunlight as they patiently waited for the big fish to arrive.
They used to walk with me here, all three of them in tow, scouting for blackberries and wildflowers and yellow-spotted garden spiders.
We always had a ritual of leaving a trail of milkweed silk floating on the air behind us - making secret wishes as we freed the seeds from their spiky, dried cocoons.
I stop for a moment.
If I tune my ears just right, I can almost hear them laughing and splashing again-
their sweet voices like an infectious happiness that can never be replaced.
I miss those times and I miss my children.
But I accept the fact that their lives were long ago pulled away by duties of the world- by their young wings fluttering away to an obscure freedom-
like the milkweed silk.
And today, I know for certain that I am in a rare type of limbo.
That I am in the intricate space between being a mother
and being an aging parent.
I go to the edge of the pond and look into the water.
If I blur my eyes just right, I can almost see the reflection of a young woman.
But then she quietly begins to weep-
knowing that August leads her up the hill
and then further down the road.