Tag Archives: New England

October in New England

It’s the time we await and long for throughout the cold winter, wet spring and hot, humid summer. The slightly acrid aroma of the red, yellow and brown leaves fills the air and mixes with the musty smell of damp leaf mold underfoot. The sky is always at its bluest, and the clouds their whitest. I believe that heaven is modeled after the New England fall.

It’s a time for grandmothers to watch their grandsons play “fall ball’ and sew halloween costumes for their princess granddaughters. It’s a time to carry a thermos of hot coffee while tramping through the woods at daybreak and sit on a old stone wall completely at peace. 

No matter what happens for the rest of the year, I’m in love with New England in the fall.

Longing for Summer

491975___alone__It’s not been a bad winter by New England standards. We haven’t had deep snow or sub-zero temperatures but rather, occasional spitting storms and days in the 30’s and 40’s with more blue skies they gray. Maybe that’s why the mild cold we’ve had this week seems so bone-chillingly raw that I can’t seem to get warm. 

I’m longing for days filled with hot sun and warm breezes; nights that hold the sweet smell of my potted gardenia wafting through the windows. I’m anxious to hear the sounds of bumblebees as they warm their bodies and the incessant demands of newly hatched chicks. I want to feel the small beads of sweat that will drip between my breasts and the cool shower that will wash away the grime of working in the garden as it begins to bear the fruit of my labor. I can see myself in a wispy summer skirt, bare legs and feet, feeling the grass with my toes. I will eat berries off the bushes and at night, lay outside on a blanket, watching the night sky and drinking wine from the bottle. I can’t wait until I need to squint a bit and shield my eyes from the sun as I survey my realm. I want to lay on the moss-covered boulders that edge the stream and doze off with sweet dreams filling my mind. I want to stop at a child’s front yard stand, enjoy a slightly warm but still refreshing sip of too-sweet lemonade while dropping my quarter into their hands and seeing their delight. I want to walk in the woods at dawn and smell the aroma of wet rotting wood from the downed trees that are dotted with brightly colored fungi.

I can’t wait to relive all my memories of summers past and make new ones to add to the collection.

blackberries black-eyed_susans bumblebee butterfly2 Lemonade river_rapids skirt_twirling windinherhair

A Rich Full Life

Early one morning last week, I was enjoying a few minutes of tale telling with one of the women who works for me. She’s a few years older than I, if that’s possible, and has led a traditionally female life ruled by either a father or a husband, sometimes both. She’s a wonderful, generous person and I truly enjoy her company.

She said that some day, we should run topless through the field that abuts the shop. She heard me chuckling to myself and demanded, in that prim and proper New England school marm way, that I fess up! Nothing too dramatic to tell, just that I had run naked through many fields in my life and the one next to the shop wasn’t a prime spot for a couple old women with sagging breasts and pudgy thighs that would create the sound of gulls flying over. We laughed at the image and got back to work.

The next morning she said how lucky I was to have lived such a rich and full life. I was a little taken aback by the statement and murmured agreement although I had never thought of my life in those terms but it was food for thought.

I’ve come to the conclusion that my friend was more perceptive than I. I have led a rich and full life. I have know laughter that couldn’t be contained, smiles that warmed my spirit, grief so deep I didn’t think I would survive, the sound of music, the feel of creating a painting or a sculpture, the satisfaction of a body exhausted by hard physical labor. I have known motherhood by example and by experience and I have been a father when there was no one else to fill that role. I built my life in the same way that I built my home, on my terms. I have swum in oceans and rivers and lakes and felt my body cut through the cool water that surrounded me without letting it swallow me. I have loved, deeply and passionately and have been loved the same way in return. I have know friendship that is like the other part of me, separated at birth. I have been blessed with a spirit that needs to keep learning. I have slept under stars and on boats and in beds shared with a variety of creatures, most of them invited. I have read through the night, great books and trashy novels, until I was forced to reluctantly put the book aside because it was time to leave for work. I have shed tears alone in the bathtub but seldom in front of others, my pride I guess, and my reluctance to appear vulnerable in the eyes of anyone, myself included. I never really noticed when my hair turned to silver, when my blue eyes changed to a pastel facsimile or when my skin began resembling that of my mother. I have written my own rules, created the woman I have become, lived deliberately and tried to carry out my dreams without intentionally hurting others, and I’ve never looked back.

Yes, I have lived a rich and full life

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