Driving in to work this morning down the wilderness highway from Fox Lake
we pass the first clusters of school children standing in the clear morning light at the ends of long driveways
waiting for the first glimpse of the yellow school bus to appear on the horizon.
Tendrils and wisps of fog rise from the wet chip-sealed highway
making misty the dripping scarlet leaves of fireweed gone cotton
the blown wild roses, the foxtails and cold-stunted aspen.
These fledglings scamper madly amongst the hillocks of wet grasses
lunches packed securely in backpacks of hello kitty pink and batman blue
unaware of the long vista stretching before them
thinking only of this moment
this first day of school
this hallmark of summer’s end.
This is my 6th installment of Just Write, an exercise in free writing your ordinary and extraordinary moments. I am linking up with The Extraordinary Ordinary.
You got your first bike when you were four because you had started throwing tantrums and daddy said no way we’re not rewarding bad behaviour but I said he needs his freedom from the daycare kids in the back yard, he is getting older he needs to be allowed to do more, trusted to be a big boy, he is asking us to help him grow up, and so we went to town and you picked out a purple bike with handle bars that came up to daddy’s knee and white training wheels and plastic streamers in the hand grips and we put clickers in the spokes and a helmet on your head and you were allowed to ride from our house to three houses down and back again. You stopped throwing tantrums, and a year later daddy took the training wheels off and ran behind you, back and forth up and down, one hand on the back of the seat, on your back, on your helmet, hovering, hovering, until you looked back and saw him running beside you, look, look, no hands!
This is my 5th installment of Just Write, an exercise in free writing your ordinary and extraordinary moments. I am linking up with The Extraordinary Ordinary. (Please see the details here.)
…your shout of glee, your sagging training pants and orange striped socks, joyful toddler leaping to daddy’s arms, flying across the open expanse between coffee table and couch without fear, without thought to falling, landing against daddy’s chest to bounce off and do it again and again and again, neither of you tiring until the last leap, ending in the inevitable knock on daddy’s head with tight fist, ‘body home? ‘body home? squealing with laughter as daddy knocked back “anybody home?” and then you lean in, slumping into daddy as he breaths in a slow breath of sweet toddler sweat as you rise and fall against the beating of his heart.
Last night was the last of my creative writing classes that I’ve been taking at the college. What an amazing experience this class has been for me on so many levels. I really like writing. Not just bloggy-blog writing (which I also enjoy), I mean that I have really loved the challenge of creative writing. I tried my hand at fiction, non-fiction and poetry. And not only did I discover that I liked it, I discovered that I’m not half-bad at it, either! Or, at least in my own sometimes-not-so-humble opinion, anyway. It does take a fair bit of time, though. So all the blogging I haven’t done and all the sewing I haven’t done and all the knitting I haven’t done is because I’ve been writing and re-writing my class assignments. And I have got something to show for it all, too! I have a great handful of haiku, two long poems that have gone through many revisions and are now finished and ready to go, a third poem that I am in the process of revising and have great dreams for, a 3400-word fiction piece awaiting revision, and a 5,000-word non-fiction piece that is finished and ready to go (or as ready as a piece ever gets, as I’m beginning to learn!)
Because I enjoyed the process of writing so much, and my mind is so stuffed full of ideas for more, I’ve decided that I’m actually going to jump into the inky swimming pool and submit a few things!
The bummer is that I can’t show them to you! Not the ones that I want to submit anywhere, anyway. For some reason, posting a piece on a blog is considered “published” in a literary magazine world that only accepts unpublished work.
Once again I am reminded of how many ways there are to dance through life, and how much I am enjoying this creative journey.
As Martha Graham said: “Learn to dance by practicing dancing, or learn to live by practicing living. The principles are the same.”
I say, go ahead and insert the word “write” or “paint” or “sing” in here. We are all dancing through life in our own way.
It seems this year I do not know
if the snow will ever go.
In March it sits here like a brick
(not a brick like “you’re a brick, Dick”),
I mean a brick like bricks and mortar,
the kind used in the Latin Quarter.
Winter hard and cold and cruel
will last until the end of school,
and instead of flying kites,
all the kids will get frostbite.
No more soccer, bikes or bats,
for them it’s mittens, scarves and hats.
Cry and wail and weep away,
it’s in the snow you’re forced to play.
Sleds and skates and hockey pucks,
if you don’t like it, then you’re (ahem) out of luck.
For no matter how you plea,
summer’s just not meant to be.
Needles of birch,
warmed by her hands,