What is my present? The leafy maple outside my window? The sun casting its last light on the trees lower on the hill? They had warmed with gold light just before I wrote the last sentence, and by the time I typed the period their illumination vanished. Six seconds of splendor as the sun descends behind the mountain. Is it the slight pain I feel in my back as I sit here? The tightness of my legs? Or is my present in the breath and striped fur of my tabby cat stretched along my thigh? The open notebook next to her? The feelings of frustration in trying to market a book? I saw one of the pileated woodpeckers for the first time today, though I’ve heard their hammering for over two weeks. That is the present I want. Writing thoughts and making images, that is the present I desire. Selling and searching and looking at Amazon rankings, not. My present is my struggle with faith. The laundry in the dryer and the new load to put in. In hearing my husband’s car door shut and his feet on the steps. The opening of the door as he comes home. The opening of the book I plan to read tonight.
When the signs pointing the way have disappeared, perhaps this is a bigger opening to life than you can imagine: flying blind into the future, and then finding yourself in an unexpected place, the one you never intended to go to but where you really are meant to be.
I wrote a long post last night with pictures of my walk around my block just before twilight. Thought I took a video hoping to capture the bird songs and the rushing creek, but it was gone when I downloaded the pictures on my computer. And then two hours later, when I posted here, half of my work vanished.
The process was still important because I was in the space of creativity. And who is to say that this one picture doesn’t have more meaning than another fifteen or so?
Last night, bird calls were all around. I live, not in old growth, but in trees that probably haven’t been cut for close to sixty or seventy years. Birds are everywhere, especially now that it is spring. The pileated woodpecker couple has come back. I’ve heard their cry, a savage king and queen of the forest type of thing, but haven’t seem them yet. They like to poke holes in the pine trees right in front of my living room window.
The creek was also flowing hard and sounding swift, a rain storm between its banks.
And my writing here, though not my original narrative, is what is now my present. The sky looks the way it did last night. Early morning. Early evening. Twin times. As I look out at Cobb and the subtle shades of green on maple and fir and pine and oak, their trunks a silvery green, the sweet cry of birds unlock the day.
When have you lost your place, only to find yourself?