Steve got me flowers the other day- a mix of yellow flowers, of almost-bizarre pale red and white flowers with five long petals, baby’s breath, and those long sticks with furry knobs going up and down each side. I have no idea what these furry sticks are called, but something about them reminded me of Jay, NY.
Growing up, my family moved relatively often amongst the small towns of upstate New York. This has created a compartmentalized memory of my life that in a sense makes it easy to trace it back and figure out what happened when, and how old I must have been at the time. Early childhood was Jay, NY; childhood was Cold Spring, NY; preadolescence was Coeymans Hollow, NY; and high school hell was Delhi, NY. For Steve, who has grown up in the same house and town from kindergarten on, there’s no chronological memory like mine. Everything happened, whenever, who knows. Again, the present is eternal and the past is fairly moot.
From age one to five, I lived in a white house in a small town at the foot of Whiteface Mountain. In my memory, the hilly backyard behind our house stetches to infinity with the mountains in the distance posing the only possible barrier. For me, the poem by Dylan Thomas “Fern Hill” captures the nostalgia and freedom of that time. Then, I was the closest to the earth that I will ever be. I was princess of the leaves and dandelions and ran recklessly in the fields of praise. Plants and corn stalks towered over me, and our cats, Sundance and Soren, were delightful adversaries for chasing and tail-pulling. Somewhere in this field covered in yellow dandelion, these furry knob sticks must have grown in abundance.
I know that if I were to go back and stand in that backyard, I would be amazed at how tiny and insignificant that piece of the earth actually is. Best to leave it to memory.
Steve is sick today- a yucky kind of not feeling well without full blown symptoms. You know that commercial for some kind of medicine that says that the bigger the man is, the bigger the baby he is when he is sick? That always makes me laugh. Steve is 6′4”. He’s good, and tries, and doesn’t expect me to wait on him hand and foot (usually). Yet somehow, no matter how minor the aches and pains, a small child’s need for reassurance and comforting emerges and he looks at me with this little vulnerable expression that says “I’m sick…so sick”. It is so cute.
Day 6- ran three miles in the slushy snow up through the little village of Williston and the surrounding farmland.
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Apr 5th 2003Uncategorized
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