Updated: Oct 23
These days. Memory seems to be my closest friend. A constant shadow and companion. Like I am some time traveler from the past cast on the shores of now. When i was six my mother traveled solo with me through the Netherlands. My father stationed in Germany where this southern girl felt exiled from her cousins and grandparents. Caged in by never ending winters and gray skies. But six months along with my baby sister my mother boarded a tour bus with me in hand and off we went. I sat by the window, watched the miles pass by in wonder. Every day and every meal, every strange bed a kind of comfort. Like an alley cat finding a new home I was a traveler meant to roam. My young soul took comfort in the movement, the changing landscape and horizon. We hit Holland just as the tulip fields were in full bloom. Old-fashioned windmills turning slowly. My mother surely must have been awestruck. There was evidence of this. Each fall this time of year she planted tulip bulbs along the walkway of our tiny brick house at 11th and Lisenby. All my life. Bulbs to be bought or ordered, refrigerated. Earth to be turned. One bulb planted, then another. Then- nothing. Fall. Winter. Long months of me forgetting completely what lay sleeping. Until one green, Spring morning the bulbs began to rise, then bloom. Not a common site in my hometown. Not back then. A flowering paradise is Florida but tulips were not among the blooms. What patience this required. A kind of stoic trust that the good work we do will find its season to arise be it bulbs planted or words written or acts of love sown. Now, these days, this many years lived long, I feel this kind of quiet confidence, an assurance that these things will find their way up and out of the darkness we behold. That in the dephs of winter, new life is waiting to be born. That in the midst of pain, peace will prevail. And that in spite of everything in the end life finds a way to live and love again.