Here’s to a new beginning. Today and every day we choose to see the newness. And here’s to being a part of it, not just watching it pass by.
A new beginning
today, as every day.
Is it any different?
the crutch of familiarity
inevitability of change
when so much around is changing
solid ground moving beneath still feet
The act of choosing
Today I choose here. For now.
The sound of the pot of water on the wood stove hissing into dry air. Breathing. My husband’s, my son’s, my dog’s, my own. I can make out each breath, underscored by the sound of a purring cat. Is this what the world sounded like in the womb? Or the sound, perhaps, of drowning. And then there is nothing more.
Though maybe there is touch. My dog’s cold nose against my hand waking me. My husband so soft and warm, his back to me. I roll towards him and fit just right. He doesn’t stir but settles into the comfort he is now so used to.
The little things please me today. Time with my son. We don’t need an elaborate celebration. Save that for those who need a thrill. There is no need to put on airs for more. We have plenty.
It’s not like you wake up one morning and sit up in bed with your feet on the cold floor and say to yourself, “Oh my, I changed!”
No. It’s slow, steady, deliberate. Think molasses. And yes, chances are that means thick and messy, too.
Two weeks into my seventeenth year I boarded a plane for France and stayed there for a year. That was almost thirty years ago. To pay for the ticket, I had spent the summer working as a camp counselor at the local Y, caring for 18 8-year old boys, shuttling them around by subway between the boroughs of New York City, holding the door that wanted to keep closing open against my skinny little back until all my skinnier little kids were safely on board or off. When I returned back to my parents’ apartment, nothing was the same. You don’t go backwards, do you? You can choose to do something over, try it again, that sort of thing. But the same? Really… never. Something is always different. Though sometimes, of course, that difference is pretty profound.
At what point did I change? Maybe when I was still working as the camp counselor and my superior had taken mescaline that day we were schedule to take the boys to another borough, and I knew it was up to me to take care of the kids by myself, and it didn’t cross my mind I could not. Maybe it was when I boarded that plane alone and was flying across the ocean at night, and saw darkness I had never seen before, and found such peace in the hum of massive engines pushing steel through the black sky.
I don’t know. We usually don’t know when we go through change. Only upon reflection do we figure it out. So what can I say? Maybe tomorrow I’ll look back at today and wonder. But I don’t think I’ll have it figured out for a while. And I’m finally starting to get this much. Maybe we never know. That mystery thing. Maybe it’s not so bad after all.