Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It took a whole year for me to remember to write (some of) this, but that's because there was more than I thought to it.

I think I've said it before, but I have the most beautiful drive to work. Some days I want to speed past the turn and keep driving. Something about the hills and the trees and the seasons and all Creation right there along Route 532 takes hold of me and leaves me teary eyed - or just plain giddy.

Hawks eat snakes. I did not know that until a few weeks ago when a hawk snagged a snake at the side of the road. I had to hit my brakes hard, not to get a better view, but because the ascending hawk and the wiggling snake nearly hit my car.

The low part of the road parallels a creek. The creek draws the eye most days, but there is a little pond on the other side of the road at the base of a driveway that is worth watching as the seasons change. A redbud tree grows by the pond and the clearing behind it is the perfect green for the tree. Scandalous. I never noticed the tree until this year and when I saw all that color, the only word I could come up with to describe it is scandalous. You know, scandalous in a good way. According to the dictionary, scandalous cannot be used in a positive context. I think it can though, especially in regards to the redbud tree on a canvas of green.

It's the green I've meant to write about, sorta. More specifically, it's new grass - and how it took me back to when my babies were babies.

Background is necessary here too, I guess. Ever since I was a little girl, I've had visions while riding in cars. It sounds so weird when I say it like that, but it's true. I don't mean real things like what I've described above, close encounters with hawks and breath stealing trees, I mean things transforming before me in an outdoorsy, otherworldly, Wonkaesque kind of way. It's a game I play. Sometimes it plays me.

Here's one example. I used to run beside the car on the way to Grandma's house, each step made perfectly at the top of a mile marker or road sign or billboard. Sometimes I took the easy route and ran across the tops of electrical poles, but most of the time I took to the low road. I was big. I had long legs, perfect legs for making all those steps on the tops of the signs and poles. I never missed. Big steps. Long steps. Elevation changes. I never fell. It was mesmerizing and it ate up the miles.

So, back to the grass. This happened last year.

I was driving to work in early spring, in the first of the green days, after a rain. The grass was new and longish. Long enough to almost need its first mowing. The grass grows all the way to the road at that place and there is a gentle rise from the road. In my mind I stretched my hand out to that rise. I could see every individual blade of grass, each one it's own length and shape. Some still sparkling with raindrops and some already dry. I saw them all. My hand stretched out to touch each one of those individual blades of grass and they each leaned toward my hand, reaching for my touch. At that moment, my girls were babies again and the gentle rise was their baby brows and the grass was their baby hair and my hand -

the reach of my hand was enough to make each one of their uncut, individual baby hairs lean in to me.

And I touched them all, each hair.

I pulled them close and I smelled them again, my babies.

And in this place I never had to cut their hair.

I tried to make it happen again this year. I waited all winter for the days of new grass, the rain, the stretching of the blades. On the perfect day, in the exact place, I looked for the vision.

I saw it, but it was a memory.

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