Life has come full circle in a year. The snow stakes are back in the ground, the wood is stacked, my snowblower and generator are charged up and the lawn furniture is nestled in the garage. But it isn’t a circle. Instead of meeting perfectly, the line is askew and is forming a spiral, turning ever so slightly outward while tracing the same arc. My world has widened in the last 12 months to include more of living and less of stressing.
I didn’t have bees a year ago; wasn’t worried about getting them through their first winter. Today, when I delivered their gallon of double-strength sugar water, there was a brittle crust left on the feeder. At first I thought the water had frozen, but there was still a slime of syrup in the bottom, so it was clear that the cold temps have caused the mixture to crystallize. Their stores are full for now so this will probably be the last feeding. I have Wilson to credit with these two amazing shots of the bees collecting from the cracked corn he puts out for his geese.
Another neighbor caught up with me at the post office and said her garden had been amazing this year. Her only complaint was that she was afraid to dead-head her flowers. They are still blooming and covered with my bees every warm day.
Last year as I was preparing my home for winter, my sister was with me and we did silly trips to the Dollar Store and Michael’s Crafts for hot glue gun sessions of decorating. She helped me finish painting the house and cleaning up the yard. The spiral tightened inwardly when she left, but then expanded with my blog and the publishing of my novel.
I mourned my losses and allowed the grief to wash over me until the burden was bearable. I learned to listen, just sit and absorb, letting go of the need to interject with my wisdom and experience. Because sometimes, that is all that is required of me.
I acquired a deeper understanding of what I expect and will tolerate; from life, others and from myself. I spiraled imperceptibly away from beliefs I had held but now have no use for. The belief that I was somehow inexplicably tied to the title on a business card, and the lifestyle that entailed. I went to more events involving art and less black-tie affairs. I stopped putting on the mask of make-up to hide my true smile. I’ve traded feeling under-dressed without my diamonds, to feeling naked without my pocket knife. I spiraled slowly forward.
It’s not that I am “letting myself go” in the traditional female sense of becoming a slob. I’m just more judicious about what I need to feel good. One thing is to look in the mirror less, and laugh at photos of myself more. I now see my face as a the canvas that has been my experiences. I will never be fat and I will never be rich, but I will find joy in what my body is and what I have to give of myself. I once had those sleek talons on a manicured hand. One day, less than a year ago, I looked at my friend, Mary Iselin’s hands. Mary is an oil painter of amazing talent. I looked at her hands and saw such raw beauty, I swore I would never hide my working fingers behind that mask of shellac again. You won’t see these kind of hands in any fashion magazine. When they scratch the dusty parts of a horse, the nails come away caked with grime. They dig deep into the soil, coaxing growth and color. These hands cradle a the head of a pet who’s rummy eyes light up at my touch. These hands have earned their scars and crooked fingers, by not being afraid to reach out and grab life.
Most of the world looks back at the year on the advent of December 31st. The time for recollections and resolutions are based on a calendar. My time for review, going forward, will be when I feel the need.