Monday, October 27, 2008

You Never Know

J~ and I took a whirlwind trip to the Gulf Coast recently, to the island of Port Aransas, Texas, a place we never expected to find ourselves swimming, walking, doing yoga on the beach, or attending the wedding of J~'s old friend to his high school sweetheart, reunited after thirty years apart. A lovely story, made lovelier still by the gathering of good people who came together to celebrate the big day, and by the intention of the newlyweds to move their combined family to Hawaii. How nice, they urged their guests to think, that you now have friends to visit in Hawaii!

For weeks preceding this trip, I kept my nose to the grindstone, promising myself that upon our return, I would finally have, after many months with no such luxury, room to breathe.

Since then, with the exception of kale and collards, which don't mind a little frost, I've gathered in the remaining garden bounty: onions, beets, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, herbs, swiss chard, beans, plus several gallons of cold-hardy kiwis: olive-sized fruits with thin, edible skins, and a sweet, intense, kiwi flavor.

For many years I've told myself that when I finally had land of my own, I would grow this special fruit. It would be my first planting, a symbol of my intended bond with the land, a reinforcing statement that I was, after so many years of transient living, finally home. But to my surprise, as soon as I had settled in enough to wander this modest property, I discovered that previous owners had already done the honors: a thriving tangle of kiwi vine already bordered the yard, threatening to engulf a neighboring lilac, sending runners up a nearby pine. Stunned, I touched the unripe fruit tucked beneath the dark leaves. Here were my kiwis.

For the seven years J~ had owned this place, he had no idea this plant was anything more than a useless weed. To him, my discovery was a pleasant surprise. But to me, it was akin to finding a banner unfurled in the trees, declaringl in colorful block letters: "Welcome Home Amy!"

Just goes to show - you never know what life has in store for you.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Snakes and Stuff

I had a dream the other night that I was walking on a dirt road littered with huge wet leaves. As I walked, I noticed snakes slithering in and out from underneath the leaves. Uneasy, I considered turning back. But then two large snakes began moving along either side, as if to escort me. I continued with tentative steps, until a large snake reared up to eye-level in front of me, unhinged its jaw, and fell forward. I woke in a panic just as it sunk its teeth into my chest.

This reminds me of another, similar dream I felt haunted by just before discovering that I was pregnant for the first time with my first husband. I went to the library the day after my positive pregnancy test. Looking at a picture book about pregnancy, I realized that the snakes of this first dream symbolized sperm, and that I, traveling along my nature trail, represented the egg on its journey through the fallopian tube.

Of course I wonder what this new dream means, and why, in both, I was so afraid. Perhaps some day (or maybe two weeks from now) I will understand.

In the meantime, life is very full on every level - work, play, and family. I've been loving my new bicycling habit, and my new bicycling mates. Here's a shot of my club minutes before embarking on a charity ride earlier this summer. I covered fifty miles that day. Some did less (there were 35, 25, and 10-mile options), some did more (100 miles). Fun was had by all.

By the way, that's me down in front.