Confessions of a Transplant: 5 (A bit of schmaltz)

It’s getting late in the day, dusk. I am glad to see the days shorten which never happened in the northeast. There when the day began to shorten that meant cold weather was soon. . . but before that there are the magical years when the autumn lingered with bright days and crisp nights. Such times make for great apple eating and amazing foliage colors. The stuff of post cards.

There was a tricky few weeks as youngster when I’d wear my new school clothes, heavier material, corduroy and wool sweaters, in the morning but the day’s temp would rise and then I’d be hot, especially walking up the hill from the school bus. Steep hill, even as an adult, and of course we lived at the top.

But then came sweater weather and tights under my dresses, before girls could wear pants to school.  There was something special about leaves changing colors, flaming out before the white and ice of winter.

Here the days get shorter it means less sun beating down on grass and asphalt and concrete. And those solid forms are generous and release the heat back to us at night. If I am lucky there will be a breeze when I go out to my deck in a few minutes. I was supposed to go hear my husband in a band that I like and support. The lead person is an early twenty-something woman with a great voice, lovely and fun.  But I just can’t tonight.

I go out to my deck, by myself, with a glass of wine, and look at the stars. I look at the phase of the moon and consciously remind myself every night that those are the same stars that look down on my son and his family. When my grandchild comes to visit I will keep him up later that regular bed time and we’ll look at the stars together. If it’s chilly then we’ll wrap up in blankets and maybe get the grand-father to light a fire.

When he’s old enough I will show him how the trees at night are silhouettes forming shapes against the navy blue sky. . . or greyish if we have clouds. How two trees in particular come together to form a heart. Or how one looks like Cyrano or Don Quixote depending on the wind.  I will read to him and sing old songs and make plans for the next day.

Tomorrow it will be hot, again. I am a broken record: grandson, heat, food, wine.  . . for a while this month I was concerned that my Celexa wasn’t doing the job and I was depressed. Everything was effort, my heart ached for no reason. I considered calling my shrink in Houston. Then the other night I watched that heart of branches and leaves toss around in a strong wind that promised rain. No rain but in my contemplation I realized my ache was grief. I was grieving, finally.

Not the move to Texas, I do not have regrets about moving to Austin. But since getting here I have had five people close to me die and a number cope with debilitating diseases. Not to mention my own shit. . . but mostly I grieve the me that will not come back from cancer treatment, parts of my self that were taken, not given.  All my life I’ve created new paths for myself and my son. I’ve screwed up courage and energy and did things. I’m not like that now.

Seasons change with a grace that I admire. Austin will cool off after a while. I assume there will be an end to the drought. Come spring (if we’ve had rain in the late fall) there will be wild flowers in fields and median strips and my own backyard. Here in Texas I look down to see the colors, and look up at trees in the quietude of night.



3 thoughts on “Confessions of a Transplant: 5 (A bit of schmaltz)

  1. Rosanne Viola Cooper August 19, 2011 / 6:00 PMAug

    Don’t sound so sad my friend, life is just changing for you & you have had some tough poop to go thru. I love the way you are able to put these thoughts down. Just doing that is a form of cleansing for the soul. Your words remind me of the song from “An American Tale” when Fival sings: “Somewhere Out There!” .
    When you wrote about what you will teach your grandson when he comes, I remember the nights we spent sitting with our wine & watching the stars. Our conversations brought me peace. I will never forget how wonderful that time was even with the stress surrounding it.
    Grief is very personal, but I know you have the strength to look for the bright side of things. Everything in it’s own time. If we do not let ourselves grieve, then we cannot enjoy happiness as much when we find it.
    Keep smiling Ann Marie. If nothing else it will make others wonder what you have been up to!
    Sending you hugs!

  2. JRD Skinner August 19, 2011 / 6:00 PMAug

    Beautiful post. It’s certainly worth remembering that we all share the same sky – but also, that this too shall pass. You may feel lacking energy now, but sometimes even courage needs a rest – no bird is forever airborne.

  3. Terry jane England August 19, 2011 / 6:00 PMAug

    …here is to the short legged woman in Texas whispering
    good night moon. Here is to AMMI. Beautiful blog.

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