It was cold this morning and misty when I hit the road at 5:20 walking. Not so cold once we started climbing the hills, but it is October certainly. "I'm thinking about my breakfast," I said during a small silence in the midst of other talk - which made my friend and I both laugh. And when I came back - the sky still dark - into the quiet house, the kitchen was full of the creamsicle smell of coconut orange rice bubbling gently in the tiny crockpot . . .
Young has been home from school with a bad cough, wrapped up in his robe, buried in the fifth Harry Potter book. And I also read (as promised) - rasped though by this line describing a swordswoman in Pratchett's satirical fantasy - "too large to be a thief, too honest to be an assassin, too smart to be a wife . . . " I mashed tomato paste through the sieve. I ground wheat to make bread. Ran another load of laundry. Put the sheets and towels away.
This afternoon Middlest ran cross-country - the grass is green again from a month of intermittent rain, fallen leaves starting to spice the air. She wears a purple jacket - it makes her eyes even more vivid green - her cheeks glowing with fresh air and exertion. She PR'ed again this afternoon and stretches her arms ecstatically, eyes arching wide, feeling the vigor of her own strength. Young and I wait for her in the car afterwards. She comes in all at once like fresh air herself.
I want for her a life as vivid and vigorous as she is.
And for myself, as well.
Not because I regret my life. I chose. But still I lately feel ashamed of all this tininess, all this standing at the sidelines. I remember my mom like this in the years before she went back to school, on to graduate school, to a PhD program, to a practice of her own.
But I don't want to go back to school again (surely I am educated sufficiently?), as if erasing all these earlier years like they've been some kind of mistake. I want to move on from here. Move forward.
Though there are still other people's burdens to carry.
For a few more miles anyway.