Thursday, February 24, 2011

in different lights


Finally the weather has turned cold and we are promised snow . . . maybe.  But no one has been complaining at this stretch of unusual sunshine.

I never valued sunshine all that much, growing up in its relentless brightness, insistent clarity, bossy cheer.   No scope for the imagination.  Gray days - when they came, which was rarely - were full of heavy clouds and a kind of plummy moistness in every breath.  Gray days tingled with repressed lightning and promised -- by withholding and obscuring behind fog and bluster -- so many mysterious (read: superior) possibilities.

It's only now, at the rainy northwestern edge of my life, that I can welcome sunny days.  I still love gray days, charged as they are with portent and urgency.  But I have sense in me now to feel glad for the dumb goodness of sunshine when it comes.


Did you hear what Z was saying? Middlest asks me, Z being a friend of hers who's been over lately, regularly, as he makes his way through.

- No, sorry.  What was he saying?

- He was telling me how sweet you and Dad were together.

- We are very sweet of course.

- He said you were watching that thing about families and both got teary-eyed and then you leaned over and kissed Dad on the top of his head.

- I suppose we did do that.

- He says he's always wanted that.  The way you are together.  He loves watching you.  He's always been afraid he'll never have that.

- You'll have to reassure him that if we can have it, probably almost anybody can. 


If we made a talking action-figure of Fritz, it would
  1. be permanently crouched in bike-position
  2. come with non-removable helmet
  3. say, "The hills are your friends!  The hills are your friends!"
So many times has Fritz said this that we've all found ourselves building our lives around the saying.

Calculus, said Eldest when it threatened to do her in, it's difficult, but it's being hard?
That isn't a reason to quit. 
It's just a hill.  And I know what to do with hills.



I made Fritz laugh during prayers the other day.  This is my gift, making him laugh when he's decided to be sadly serious.  We were praying together, just the two of us.  When I gave thanks for our "supple marriage," he let out a startled snort-cough.

And afterwards, gleamed at me over the top of his glasses, grinning still reluctantly, Supple?

- Yes.  Don't you think so?  Isn't it amazing when you think of all we put it through and still it's strong. Supple, not brittle.  Aren't we lucky?

Later: talking with our biking friends, a couple married a dozen or so years longer, also juggling mostly grown children and diminished parents.  When I tell how Fritz laughed at supple, the husband lets out a shout of laughter, Sounds like a tough old piece of leather gnawed down into subjection!  While she laughs, risingly. They turn to each other and begin to nod. 

He says, Isn't that the truth?

She says, I'm sure it's been me.

He says, My fair share. 

They laugh, looking into each other's faces, touching each other's shoulder, ear, tip of the hair, sleeve.  Very tenderly. 


This post is done though I'm not through.
I don't intend to ever finish up . . . 

(more tulips here)


Neighbor Jane Payne said...

Oh, I do like this Emma J.

I also liked hearing Fritz snortle from afar. You described it perfectly. And it brought a smile to me.

Linnea said...

I want a Fritz action figure!
I do so like the sentiments of #2. (It is perhaps more rare in today's world than you give yourself credit for.)
"Supple," eh? Wait til I tell David...

Mrs. Organic said...

Oh, how I am cursing the odd-numbered months. I love these glimpses into your world. And the picture in the post below? Beautiful!

Clowncar said...

"Supple, not brittle." what a sweet description of a marriage. I like to think it decribes mine as well.

this too: "relentless brightness, insistent clarity, bossy cheer" I live in a town with 300-ish days of sunshine a year. it can be a little, well, relentless pretty much describes it.

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