The walls of my house are closing in. I need to step out.
Dinner is finished, and I am unloading the dishwasher before I can load it. I jerk a cup from the top rack and realize too late it is full, spill water on my feet and across the floor. A daughter walks through it, leaving footprints across the kitchen.
And it is so loud in here. So loud.
I know I am going to lose it if I don’t leave, so I grab a moment and a book and sit on the front porch in the old pealey-paint rocker. I consider walking, but rock.
I sit in the chair my mom and I bought 11 years ago at Fairly Honest Bill’s secondhand store when I was pregnant with Sici. Sanded and covered white, we placed it just so in her nursery. I nursed my first-born girl in that chair, stool at my feet, looking at the curves of her face and around at the colors of her room that looked like life to me — red, apple green and periwinkle. Her colors.
I sit in the old chair now, watching clouds edged pink move across the sky. They make me still.
I read the words “Come to me,” and I remember again: I am not the Source. Like the clouds, I’m moving, but still — resting in this movement of another kind. Come to me means I go, but I am slowed, even stopped.
Moving towards, but still.
Or rocking. I’m rocking and watching the birds.
Swallows dive to eat bugs. Larger birds fly behind houses on their way to roost. I watch one undulate across the sky, and it is a dolphin on water.
Does it ever feel delight at the way it flies? Does it just want to get home?
The lines of power stretch across pre-dusk sky, and I think how the girls use power lines to mark different places.
No power lines overhead, but lots of houses? Must be a newer neighborhood like Auntie’s where the lines are buried underground.
No power lines overhead and mostly pasture and trees? “We are totally in the middle of nowhere,” they say.
Power lines over the houses again? “We’re almost home.”
The sky over this old city house in this old city neighborhood is criss-crossed with thin black lines, and they intersect to frame these pastel clouds, this grey blue sky, these black and brown birds.
This place with its recycling cans rumbling to the curb. With the neighbor talking loudly on the phone about Michelle’s birthday. With this four-year-old girl who knocks on the window and looks toward her mama with longing eyes.
I hear come to me, and I do, tilting back and forth, back and forth, eyes blinking long on this street, under the lines, under the sky.
Also linking to Imperfect Prose on Thursdays at Imperfect Prose, the beautiful blog of Emily Wierenga.