That Small, Damp Cocoon of Time and Space Where Everyone is Smiling

By August 9, 2013 Blog No Comments
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It’s been raining here, and although that doesn’t keep the children indoors, it makes me want to hunker down. It makes me want tea and a blanket and thick socks. The rain affects me, makes me sleepy, puts pressure on my head and shoulders. Today, I decided to make a list of the things that, despite the veil of sad rain and heavy clouds, makes me fall madly in love, makes me stumble, punch drunk with happiness:

The wild raspberry bush we found growing in the yard, and the churning, thunderous stream that hurries past it on it’s way to the lake.

My husband and son, standing on the rain wet deck, practicing their fly casts, throwing out the thin, green line, over and over into an invisible river.

The recent low tide discovery of old engine parts. The way it all lay displayed like art, twisted, a tangle of rust and chain buried in the sea stone. The way we stared, in awe of the perfection, of how the sea can make raw and beautiful even the most industrial.

My youngest daughter, inquisitive, full of electricity, whom I recently followed on a mist drenched hike, stooping every few steps to save all the snails in our path. I could hear her whisper contentments to them as she placed them on stones or among wild blueberry.

That after that same hike, when we had run to the car to escape the sudden rain, I caught my husband staring at me, hair wet and hanging like a willow. “You look beautiful,” he said, and it felt like the first time all over again.

My middle child, quiet, ghostlike, who floats through life like she’s been here before, in a fog of wonder, living parallel to the rest of us. Sometimes, after her shower, she will come to me with the brush and ask me to braid her hair. I think I will miss this most when she has grown. This intimacy of working out the knots and thick curls until her hair, dark with wet, shining with youth, is weaved and pinned. The innocent cowlicks, the dampness of her neck, the clean, recognizable smell of kin.

My oldest, loud and jovial, a mouthful of jokes, his lean and handsome figure already overpowering the sofa. He is still so deliciously sweet, surprising me with bedtime hugs and with his wit and sudden adult intelligence.

That the dining table has become less of a drop space, as it was in the old house, and more of a gathering place, an alter of laughter and sharing. Last night, with their father late at work, I was surprised to see my children gravitate there with their dinner plates instead of pulling out the counter stools. I sat too, in marvel of their ease into ritual.

The wind

The wind

The wind

Have I mentioned how I love the wind in the house? It’s alive in its rush through and around, scattering papers, dimming candles, slamming doors.

The nights my husband stays at the job site, and I invite my children into my bed. The line of us, buried in our books, reading deep into the night. One by one we fall asleep, our books bent beneath our arms, twisted in the rumpled sheets, tipped like tiny tents on the bedside table.

The deeper connections I have been given the opportunity to make 3000 miles from familiarity, connections with my husband and my children and myself, who until recently, had begun to seem like strangers. I have time again. Today, I am washing my linens and I have bread rising on the countertop. There’s something about all this wind and all this time that makes me want to do ancient things, it makes me want to hang my sheets on the clothesline, it makes me want to have babies, it makes me want to can tomatoes, it makes me want to sew, it makes me want to be wet, in a steamy car with my husband staring at me and my children laughing and pushing their way in to the backseat, and it makes me want to stay in there forever, that small, damp cocoon of time and space, where everyone is smiling, and everything is fresh, and outside the windows, the sea is churning into itself, building up and tearing away, and inside I am falling in love over and over again.

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