Life composes itself of convergences we could never plan on our own. A week ago, I was rocking the empty nest blues, and I don’t just mean the official offspring. I felt tired, restless, sad, confused, and a little cut off from my sources after finishing some massive projects that had filled big and little bits of my time and thinking for years. These projects had happily taken flight, leaving me grateful but in transition between endings and beginnings.
Enter a surprising convergence, starting with a great big ball of light Sunday evening. After finally getting the kayaks out of the rattlesnakes, and the rattlesnakes out of the kayaks, we took those babies (the kayaks, not the rattlesnakes) out to Clinton Reservoir to try them out. We were running late because Ken found he needed to further secure our kayak carrier, some important phone calls rang in, and of course there was the matter of getting the pill down the throat of the sick cat. But because we were late, we ended up launching ourselves on the water right on time for the the super moon rise and eclipse.
There is little I love as much as moonlight on water, and that night, I actually got to kayak down the long shimmering line of light from the rising moon on the waves. The moon started large and mother-of-pearl-lit in a pink sky. As it rose, it brightened and goldened. We kayaked in circles, marveling at the beauty of it all a large cloud of mosquitoes descended, helping us learn how to kayak at faster speeds.
From there, it was off to get French fries at a local shop that, when we told the workers the eclipse was starting, ended up giving up triple the amount of fries. We took our heavenly bag to an eclipse-watching party where we watched the moon lose itself to the reddening shadows and light of the totality. We shared our fries, drank hot cocoa, and probably because of that particular combination I imprinted on as a teenager, I felt that old thrill of being free and alive.
On Monday, my car unfortunately smelling like fries, the eclipse gave way to preparation for a colonoscopy and endoscopy, the latter because of my chemo-damaged esophagus. For those of you who have done this, you know it’s kind like your own little science experiment as one of friends aptly described the process. For those of you who haven’t done it, I’ll just say it’s not the end of the world although I found it hard to remember words when speaking to various people throughout the day. It’s surreality with a lot of trips to the bathroom between downing enormous jugs of fluids.
Tuesday, the procedure was a little scary, but I have a great doctor, and the nurse covered me in heated blankets before giving me the drugs that seamlessly transported me to the other side of the procedure. I woke up, ate crackers, talked with the doctor, and looked at vivid photos of my insides. Afterwards, a little like being on the other side of a particularly bad migraine, the world was vibrant, food incredible, and sunlight an extravagant adornment. In a sense, and in reality, I felt cleaned out and ready for what comes next, which was fortunate because part of the future would entail a journey.
Still moonstruck and medical-procedure-finished-grateful, I slept easily so I could wake early on Wednesday to drive myself, some hot tea, and a whole grain English muffin to the airport, take one plane to Chicago, wander that airport a bit, take another plane to Burlington, VT, pick up the rental car, and dock at the Goddard College for four days of meetings and events.
The colors here are just starting to pop, so much turning quietly yellow, calmly pink, and psychedelic red. Tomorrow, I’ll see more about where I am through this new window, almost unimaginable a week ago. What converges–medical procedures, blessings and beauty from the sky and land, journeys conjured but mysterious if you open your eyes–sometimes has just the kick-ass power a woman needs to help her land where she needs to be, flung out of her old nest and into the open sky. I’m not sure if “everything that rises must converge,” to quote Flannery O’Connor’s story of the same name, but this surely has been a week of everything that converges showing me more about how to rise.
Moon photos by Roy Beckemeyer. Check out his wonderful book of poems, Music I Could Once Dance To.