Sorting It All Out
Back in the day, this jewel of a post office trundled from town to town, a communication center on the rails, gathering information here and depositing it there, helping people stay in touch with all those that were most precious to them, before it rolled on down the line. I can relate, shuttling from country to country, writing letters to myself, trying to keep in touch with my observations and feelings before they slip away as life chugs on.
It’s three weeks now since we left France, but it feels like years. Light years, that is. We’ve slipped back into old habits like the old clothes we’ve dug out of boxes in the garage, although it’s sometimes an uneasy fit. And often it’s the absence of past comforts that we wear like that poppy on the lapel, that smudge of ash on the forehead. Today it’s Memorial Day in America, a day to remember, and indeed, Memory Lane beckons.
We’ve practically never lived in this house without Riley, and we don’t want to now either. I still see him everywhere, even though he’s been gone for over two years. Sometimes the past just won’t stay past, but follows you around, begging for attention.
Sushi too should be here, if only to remind us that death always comes too soon. As if we could ever forget that. That everyone has her time and place on this Earth, and that our time is now, and only now.
And in our now it’s Spring, the time for growth and birth. Restored by green food, renewed by the sight of a world in leaf, we begin again to find our way in this new old home. The New World is both easier and harder to inhabit, and perhaps our ancestors also found it thus.
To soothe the aches and pains of uprooting and travel we’ve been trying to get the hot tub working, but there’s a ground fault somewhere that troubles the circuitry. That’s another thing I can relate to, as one life leaks into the other, fizzling and crackling at the interface of language and culture.
The food is different here, with the old familiar flavors, but expensive, shipped from far away, and the lack of daily bread leaves a void. So today we’ll fire up the smoker for the first time this year, make a purely American supper, and take a step back toward a simpler life, a life before there were two lives.
We’ll think of those who went before, and those who will come after, holding the past close as the future sweeps us onward. We’ll live our two lives as if they were one, at least for today.