Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Roots and Wings

My sunglasses are on the counter. Silly place for them when it's this bright and hot. Evidence I still am not completely acclimated to life in Colorado. That or I'm just a total airhead. Switch--we head to the other side of the street. Desperate for a little more shade. It's that hot--stinkin' hot. Been a while since we walked the school route. Middlest's friend lives right by the school. "Shake-a, shake-a, Mommy! Shake-a, shake-a!" Littlest loves this spot. Right at the top of Columbine. There's a house whose tree puts off those wonderful seed-pod instruments that all toddlers love. We picked them up every day on the school run. Shaking our way down to the school, then discarding and shaking our way back home with a new one. He can't quite understand where they all have gone. I try to explain they'll be back in the fall. Then find tears as I realize we won't be walking down to Sandburg for school again this fall, so I can't prove it to him.

 The new raised vegetable beds across the street are fat with shoulder-high veggies. Gorgeous. Neat and tidy rows in neat and tidy boxes with neat and tidy pea gravel paths in between. Seems like they were tiny little seedlings about 5 minutes ago. I dream dreams of a someday garden like that.

 Summer. It's finally here. I feel the spring move into the summer--the first season I am present enough to really feel. I think it maybe takes a year to acclimate to the seasons of a new home. Something about this particular season change resonates deep in my being.

 My Spider Wart is withered and doesn't want to open up it's blossoms. They hang there, sad. Hiding away the pretty purple flowers from the too-hot sun. My Corn Flower and Mums didn't make it. The Sedum got chewed up. Try as I might the Ice Plant won't bloom or spread and be the ground cover I had hoped for. But it's the strawberries that draw tears. They've spread & grown. Two or three berries last year. A dozen or more this year. Spreading their tendrils, growing big, tall leaves. I can tell they'll cover quite a bit of the ground I intended them for next summer. This is the part that makes me cry. While Littlest gleefully picks the bright red ones and asks to pick every single still-green one. I carefully unwind the Morning Glory and pull it up, and I cry. I won't be here to harvest these next year or to keep the morning glory from taking over.

 The whole team gathers in their speedos and red & black suits. The big kids stand in the inner circle. I remember some of them from 5 years ago or so. Cutie-pie middle schoolers then. Now big, tall, strong. The little brothers, sisters, and neighbors circle up around them with parents and coaches looking on. Only about half of the cheer is distinguishable, but it's not the cheer that brings the tears. It's the used-to-be little kids leading it. Swim team has broken my heart this year. Every time the 6 and unders get in the pool I feel that burning behind my eyes. Every time the highschool-aged jr. coaches cheer the littler kids on I fight the lump in my throat. This is what roots must feel like. Watching your little ones become the big ones in the middle. Beside the other little ones. Under the tutelage of big ones you watched grow from cutie-pie stage.

 My plants are putting deeper roots down. Growing taller stalks and putting on more flowers. But not us. Here we go again. Pulling our roots up. Heading off to a new adventure. To a place where I don't understand the seasons. Heck--their summer is in December for crying out loud! To a town where the school-run is unfamiliar and there may or may not be "shake-a, shake-a's." To a neighborhood where none of the children's chubby 5-years-ago faces will be familiar to me. Where no one will remember my boys when they were first learning to swim or when they swam their first relay.

 Wings. We do wings really, really well. Adventuring and exploring and going out into the world. My adventuresome spirit loves this. Revels in it. Grows and expands. Roots though. Where does one find roots if not in place? In familiar neighbors? In the familiar flow of season into season? Looking out at gardens growing in soil one knows and nurtures year to year? My mothering spirit mourns the loss of roots. Worries. Wonders. Cries.

 Roots. How do I give my children roots in this crazy expat lifestyle?


Rachel said...

What a brilliant, brilliant post. You sum up the dilemma so perfectly. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I loved reading your blogs, you remind me of myself and many things you say sound just like what I would say if I could write them down! I am Canadian, with 4 kids, having just returned from 4 years in Africa often struggling with the same stuff... if we lived closer I bet we would be friends! Best of luck on your new adventure...I am actually jealous:)

Rachel said...

Lovely post, lovely blog. You can always pick up your roots and carry them in your shell like a snail...or at least that's what I'm trying to do. Good luck. My first visit here - greetings :)