It’s like that. One day you realize something has changed. For all I know the geese may have been back for several weeks. But last week, I noticed them in all their honking glory.
My part of the Earth has turned from winter to spring. It was cold yesterday, but it was spring cold. One of those days that surprises you with its chill. You know winter has passed because the signs are all there: the blossoming trees, the tulips and daffodils finding their bloom, the lengthening days, the woodpecker on the telephone pole.
The chill is as cold as a winter’s day, but it is spring cold. A reminder that change isn’t fixed. It has its own rhythm. Change happens over time.
I’ve been trying to come up with a description of my blog, Writing Shed. What it’s about. The closest I could come to was that I’m a woman growing older writing about what a woman growing older writes about. Which means I write about life’s stuff.
The dust seems to be settling for Tom and me. A new reality in which cancer is a player, but not what defines our life. It catapulted us into a more intense experience of life, but now we are settling in again to the mundane: paying bills, daily household chores, grappling with what to do next.
The mundane is also life. We enhance it by making sure to honor the grace of everyday living: the time we spend talking with each other over breakfast; the attention paid to making dinner a meal worthy of leisure enjoyment—and then enjoying it at a leisurely pace.
And then, of course, we have to do the dishes.
I just rewrote a piece that describes how I went from thinking being a married woman was a what that trumped me, to understanding that anything I do is nothing if it doesn’t include me. I get to write my own story.
The piece is based on the period following my divorce in 1974, which was chaotic. I couldn’t figure it out. I wasn’t a married woman, so what was I? I had ended the marriage. Felt that I had escaped it. But I had no real idea of why.
I traveled to Europe alone in 1976 (radical for my background). That was when I decided I was a writer. And when, without my realizing it, I began to shape being a married woman around who I am.
But, as I said, change isn’t fixed. It takes place over time. The dust has to settle.
There is something about the recent before-and-after-the-shark event we just went through that has helped settle the dust wrought by that nearly 40-years-ago seed of change.
I am a writer and a married woman. The shark made me realize that being a married woman has a unique vulnerability. It’s not so much a what I am as a who I am by virtue of loving.
Change is time. Time is change.
I’m a woman growing older writing about growing older. Which is life’s stuff.
I look forward to the geese family stopping traffic on Third Avenue—the adult geese raising their necks in defiance as they usher their fuzzy goslings from one side of the road to the other.
Growing older. Aren’t we all?