Friday, January 26, 2018

Silk Dust

As a little girl in the middle of a cornfield, I spent most of my days outside. An old field road ran behind our house, dividing crops and granting access to the trucks and combines working the land. It began at the hard road and graduated beneath the woods that remain an oasis in my mind. While craterous pools of impassable mud in the spring and fall, the summertime wind and the absent rains gradually made the surface of those pockets feel like fine silk. Remnants of coal from days gone by shimmered in the sun amongst the powered grey sugar. I remember countless hours being knees down, tracing words with the outline of my fingers or just swishing waves with my palms. Occasionally, we'd scoop cups of dust into boxes as a treat for quail to ruffle.

My main distraction on those afternoons were the flying grasshoppers taunting me to chase them, popping wings out and springing a few feet at a time down the weed middled road, light vibrations reverberating in my ears. The rolled hay bales in the backdrop tempted me to leap across their tops, but the high summer sun suggested it better performed in the morning. Gradually something would distract me to another location, Mom would call me, or a fishing pole would tempt me away. This unconscious meditation and connection with the land would, however, nourish and sustain me throughout my childhood.

Silk dirt dust... funny to remember dirt so eloquently. The earth, the soil, can come in so many forms. Some days we walk atop it, stable and firm, not even taking notice of the surface beneath. We take for granted the ease in which we move about, unfaltered. Moistened lightly, we can mold that soil into a beautiful bed or shape it gently to offer plants a place to thrive. Then it becomes a tool, an ingredient of our peace and rejuvenation. Other days, rains make it nearly impassable, first just tacky to our feet, but gradually able to almost pull us under. And if we are lucky, we have days of graduated silk, forged from many days of sunshine and warmth.

We have been in Dallas for almost 5 months- another big move, reacquaintance, recreating a home and settling back in after an interrupted stride of life. Most days are walked on that stable soil, occasionally the burden of mud weighs us down. There are fleeting glimpses of drowning and blessed moments of silk. They all make up our lives in a delicate yet invincible recipe. Optimism of silk is on the horizon. The once unconscious connection to slow days, time in nature and moments to breath now quite consciously come full circle and rejuvenate me yet again.

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