b ~ Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,

tea&cakes (Small)

Driving by the schoolyard I roll down the windows and listen to the
chattering. The joy on their faces transports me to a simpler time.
When M and I lived in the apartment in Pittsburgh our house was behind
the school playground. Recess every day brought us the sounds of the
children playing.

I’ve never been in search of the fountain of youth, but I know that
there are secrets we possess in childhood that don’t survive our magic
transformation into grown ups. Children sit at desks each day and
delight at being released outside. Swings, slides and monkey bars
entice and beckon them to take a turn.

I wish I had a bell that would ring sometime in the middle of the day
so I could stop what I was doing feel the sun on my face. I have
friends who have adopted a daily tea as their ritual. At the appointed
time they set everything aside to boil the kettle, allowing the tea to
steep to perfection. And occasionally partake in a sweet a scone or

Rituals and sacred time are not part of my schedule. My seconds fall
all over themselves like puppies in a pile, turning into minutes
before my very eyes. Those minutes glom onto each other like molecules
and create the hours, and in an instant the day is gone.  Perhaps the
moment we step outside of our existence creates a structure and helps
to establish a rhythm, something I am seeking. I wonder if ritual and
celebration do not have to be so far apart, mutually exclusive from
each other. Could they become magnets that don’t repel, but rather,

I find myself looking for ways to break up the monotony but not
disturb the traditional pace. A small joy, rather than a wondrous

~flowers on which to rest my eye, a hope of the spring that is to come

~tea in the morning that allows me to linger

~the joy in the planning for a loved one’s birthday

~ice cream desserts made from scratch

~a well worn book waiting patiently for day’s end

When I close my eyes, the words from my most recent book come back to me:

‘Sometimes I wake up and lie still enough to hear a petal drop from
the vase of flowers. Sometimes I lie awake and wish there was someone
to hear my falling. In the safety of my bed, on a tightrope between
waking and dreaming, my fantasies feel so real—only steps away—around
a corner that never ends.
My father opens the curtains slowly to unveil the day. Every
day is a masterpiece, even if it crushes you.’*

I wonder if that’s true. Could every day be its own beautiful unique
entity? How do you hold and let on and let go?

*from Simon van Booy’s forthcoming book, The Illusion of Separateness

About andi

Writer, editor, wrangler of small boys and dogs.

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