Mornings


One morning I wake in the rain forest, surrounded by ferns and cedars and moss covered rocks and undergrowth so think my dog remains on the road with me as we jog in the heavy humid air, thick like syrup, it has texture and substance so unlike the thin clear high mountain skies I am used to. My forehead and cheeks are damp with sweat. Early morning light filters through opaque woods, soft and faint like falling snow from the first storm of the year, somehow with a similar anticipation for what it will bring. Today will be a hot one.

Another morning I wake in the wide open flats of corn and alfalfa and the stench of dairy cows in a muddy lot that was stronger last night so I must be getting used to it after breathing it in all night for I don’t smell it as strong this morning. And there is the magenta of first light coming from what seems like a million miles away, a vibrant red swath on the edge of the horizon where the earth meets the sky, lightening, brightening, as the sun prepares to rise from so far away. Something we never see in the mountains, where morning arrives abruptly after the sun struggles and climbs and finally clears the mountains to the east.

The next morning we are driving through the cradled basin of Salt Lake City in the still dark hour as the mountains to the west capture the first of the sunlight and glows like a sparkling crown in the distance, and those to the east remain a rugged looming black silhouette. In between, a twisting ribbon of on-coming headlights and quickly passing billboards telling me where to go for the best care for a heart attack, eat the finest fast food, or shop for sexy lingerie. Pieces to a puzzle oddly out of place.

And then I am home. A familiar morning. An odd place to be. Betwixt and between. A separation I am setting in motion. And the closer it gets, the more I find myself grasping to hold on to what I had. For fear of having nothing but the unknown.

How uncomfortable a place when we find ourselves standing with nothing beneath our feet to support us?

Where we started and where we will be. Change brings us to a higher place, a step above, if only because we have learned and grown from the experience. (For if we have not, we have not changed, only the circumstances surrounding us have.)

Of course between where we started and where we will be, there is that period down below. A dark place at times. The inevitable flutter of the rollercoaster ride. Fluctuations between fears and excitement. These dramatic ups and downs and little stable ground in between.

“It’s not so much that we’re afraid of change or so in love with the old ways, but it’s that place in between that we fear . . . . It’s like being between trapezes. It’s Linus when his blanket is in the dryer. There’s nothing to hold on to.” Marilyn Ferguson

For now, I am in between. How much of our lives must we find ourselves there?

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