"It's as if a great bird lives inside the stone of our days and since no sculptor can free it, it has to wait for the elements to wear us down, till it is free to fly." Mark Nepo

Monday, October 12, 2009


Restlessness plagues me today. A kitten attacking my toes or climbing my leg, not a mountain lion stalking me for food, but enough of a distraction I can't seem to settle into anything. Like a kitten, she skitters away when I try to get close enough to put her out or snuggle her into calmness.

The rains are due by this evening. Temperatures have been unseasonably cool. The wind, usually a gentle afternoon companion, has been singing in the chimes and making the branches dance since before dawn. When I step outside I hear her voice whispering secrets in the tops of the firs that line our property.

My heart follows the wind to friends who are suffering today: two whose best friends recently left this life; one whose youngest son's mental illness nearly cost him his life; one whose only sister struggles valiantly with cancer; one whose marriage resists healing regardless of love and effort; one whose own mental illness keeps her imprisoned and unable to claim her own life.

Our bird area is packed with squirrels, ten or more, going about the serious business of fattening up in preparation for long winter days when it's too cold and miserable to leave their nests. The goldfinches have been gone for weeks, the winter siskins not yet arrived. Only chickadees and juncoes remain in large numbers, steady and seasonless residents of our world.

Most of the flowers are tired, with increasingly smaller splashes of color laughing amidst foliage turned brown. Only the wildflowers, planted late, don't seem to realize their season is done. They continue to vibrate life against a broad backdrop of leaves breathing out one last gasp of life into the narrowing hours of light.

The sunlight which has streamed into the house with brilliant golden abandon all summer is muted into the quiet ivory of old lace by celestial rotation and spiders spinning webs against their mortality on the windows.

It's such a potent mixture of life and death, color and pallor, light and dark. Like humanity itself sitting on the edge, with equal measures of all opposites on either side. The balance ready to shift, ready to release the tension, ready to fall into next.

Time to bundle, leash Toby up, and head for the river. Kick through some leaves, exchange kisses with the wind, open my heart to find the message she seeks. If I follow the voice of my restlessness, rather than resist, perhaps she'll offer me wisdom for the winter ahead.

photo by Walt


Anonymous said...

A walk by the river always sounds like a good idea. Katie and I are heading down there later today.

Lorna said...

I love the way you write. Very visual, and stirs up a mood. Your post is refreshing, in a winding-down-summer sort of way. Thanks.

The Unbreakable Child said...

deb, I love the way you ended this--powerful.

Jessica Nelson said...

Very nice post! But sad about your friends. :-(

I hope you enjoyed your walk. So do you live in Oregon? I just saw the word juncoe and it reminded me of my historical, which is set in Oregon. I put in a juncoe for good measure. LOL

Jerri said...

Beautiful, as always.

Midlife Roadtripper said...

So many lovely lines. Enjoyed this piece. Your mood is well set and I follow.

I wonder if the walk with the dancing branches brought you a lighter heart.

Anonymous said...

Beautifully written Deb. Restlessness is annoying sometimes, that inability to settle, and yet it can lead to positive and renewing outcomes.Many people have such enormous challenges in their lives, just the fact that others are thinking of them and salute their bravery is often incentive to keep going. I feel for those close to you that you have mentioned, and pensive walks with such thoughts can be prayers in their own way. Nature heals and helps.Thank you for your recent visit and much appreciated comment.

Ambiance in the Attic said...

Deb, this is simply beautifully written. Thanks for visiting me in the attic!

Angie Ledbetter said...

All good things on that journey and beyond.

Carol Murdock said...

Deb...Fall does that to me sometimes. I think it's because the change from fall to winter is so dramatic. I NEED to get so much done before winter, yet the cool days and rain make me so lazy.I also feel that the older I get, the fact that I know most of my life is behind me, also makes me restless sometimes. :(

Go Mama said...

Gorgeous and evocative writing here. Restless or not, your words breath life onto the page.

"Only the wildflowers, planted late, don't seem to realize their season is done. They continue to vibrate life against a broad backdrop of leaves breathing out one last gasp of life into the narrowing hours of light."

And that is the trick, I think. To vibrate against the broad backdrop of mixed experiences. Some reaching for the light, others completing their journey back down into the earth.

kario said...

I know I've said this before, but I LOVE IT WHEN YOU WRITE ABOUT NATURE! You have a tremendous gift, my friend. Thank you for sharing it.