Monday, August 27, 2012

the thing with feathers

Good morning, dears. It’s a still morning—the sun dampened with clouds, the hillside quiet. I was awoken many times in the night by a restless, leg-kicking Cricket who, first thing, bathed me in smiles. That is motherhood. It is also the great divide between what we hope to accomplish (with grace, with ease), and what we actually will. So here is a morning list:

Things I wish to do today:

Vacuum the multitudinous spider webs out of my house
Take my children for a long walk up the brook
Read some Rachel Carson
Scrub the toilet
Lay down in the sun in the yard
Tackle the multiple loads of laundry

Things I will most likely accomplish:

Feed my children
Feed myself
Stamp and send the town newsletter because I get paid to do so
Wash and hang the truly stinking diapers
Take out the truly stinking trash
Keep my eyes open while reading to Avah in the mid-afternoon even though I will really, really want to close them

Can you hear the tonal divide between these lists? In the space between these lives the friction and the hope (which yes, is the thing with feathers). Perhaps I will at least find me some Rachel Carson. If I remember right, my great-grandparents were friends of hers, lefty ecologists of the 40s and 50s well before their time. My great-grandmother, Olive, loved folksongs, birdsongs, and weaving. She  experimented with all sorts of natural plant dyes culled from these Vermont woodlands. She also taught biology at Marlboro College. These women I’m from! They astound me.

If you, too, are looking for some Rachel Carson inspiration, I can’t recommend enough the essay, “The Fracking of Rachel Carson” in the current issue of Orion. It’s red hot and bone true.

Happy feathered morning to you, too.