Finally, the tall green pines standing sentinel around this cold and black New Hampshire pond are framed in a sky of blue. After a month of steady rains, foggy nights, and misty days, I am reborn into a newly created world—a world that finally answered my prayers: no more trying to find that elusive spot under the camper awning that doesn’t seem to leak; no more running across the wet field dragging Tommy bouncing and laughing like a half-inflated beach toy towards a smokey campfire: and (almost regrettably) no more endless scrabble, card games, monopoly, and shallow books. This fresh blue morning barks out the possibilities of the day: Here is my rope-swing. Here are my trails. There lie my waters….

The window is small and the day is large. I shouldn’t even be here teasing words from an empty page when I should be embracing the possibilities of today. As Thoreau said: My life is the poem I should have writ/ But, I could not both live and utter it. The ignorant and lazy part of us might want to rally around Thoreau’s sentiment and say, “Amen to that,” but we would miss the irony and wistfulness of our collective predicament: like kids balancing on a plank set on a log, we scramble back and forth to find that sweet spot on the plank, that place of perfect balance between the forces of yin and yang—but, if we find that spot, we allow ourselves only a few moments of self-indulgent awe before searching for a more elusive and demanding challenge.

To live fully, we must be bored quickly by the easy and mundane. We have to set a larger plank across a bigger log. There is no legal limit to how many balls a juggler can have in the air. We are only captive to gravity and the sun ticking its way towards the horizon.

I need this blue sky to let me see the horizon and the infinite juxtapositions between the earth and sky. I need to be reminded that my page will always be empty if I don’t embrace the day that comes before it. I need to rush headlong into the blinding light. I need to fall and get up time and time again with a contagious and courageous rhythm, and I need to remember to spend my day and not simply save it, as if I could redeem it tomorrow.

My life and my words are my final redemption, woven and rushed imperfectly into the rags I wear.


~Windsor Mountain, 2011

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