In Real Life

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On Sunday a bit of magic happened. For the first time since we were introduced about a year ago, I got to meet author/writer Rachel Federman. Rachel and I met virtually via our blog spaces through our mutual writer friend, Amie. I feel so fortunate to have these two writers in my life, and it was a dream to get to spend the day together.

I couldn’t quite wrap my head around the fact that Rachel was on the train from New York and our paths would finally have a chance to cross in real life. I’d begun to think there was some glitch in the universe that would keep us in close proximity, never granting us the opportunity to actually connect. But then Amie pulled into my driveway with Rachel and her daughter, and there I was, hugging this person whose generosity and insight sustained me through 365 of days of blogging.

The five of us walked down to the beach, the little girls both in purple galoshes, taking turns on the red tricycle, stopping frequently to inspect sidewalk cracks and splash in puddles. The weather was spectacularly Spring-like, warm enough for short sleeves, the last of the snow melting into the muddy earth.

We marveled at the weather–it was impossible not to–and Rachel observed the eeriness of it too. The thin winter light of February and the warm, windless air of early summer just didn’t match up. Our daughters built sandcastles while the three of us talked about the beach and writing and politics and life.

Later in the evening, Amie hosted dinner and, as we stood in the kitchen talking about writing retreats, Rachel insisted on chopping the vegetables for the salad noting this was her favorite time of the evening, that first glass of wine while chopping carrots and chatting, before anyone has eaten and the energy is still high. She was so perfectly right, and her words preserved the highlight of the evening in my memory.

The night melted away faster than the last of the snow in the too-warm February sun, and I found myself saying a rushed goodbye when I realized it was so far past my bleary-eyed toddler’s bedtime. I left behind loose threads of conversation, ones I hope to pick up again soon.

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Mandala

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This is the closest I get to making visual art these days, arranging rocks from the ever-growing pile on the deck. My husband and daughter are arrowhead hunters and rock collectors. We have rocks in the garden beds, in pails, in pockets, on the front porch, in the stroller, on dressers and bookcases, on the fireplace mantle, in the washer and the dryer. They are always bringing the beach home with them.

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Outdoor Shower

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If I tell you I am sleepy, children on the beach past 6:00pm, then huddled in the outdoor shower, slick hair, pale torsos, patting at each other’s brown shoulders and arms, round bellied and round cheeked, toes curled into cracks between slate slabs. Little bodies sluiced with water.

If I tell you I am sleepy, and this image is the day’s offering.

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Egret


Because I didn’t finish the long post I began this morning. Because I let the summer day take me where it wished. To the water. Big waves churning and breaking. My little girl running straight in. I chased her down the sandy shore and twirled her in the air. While her dad took pictures of birds and pictures of us. Eventually we drifted up from the beach and found ourselves at dinner at my dad and stepmom’s. Swirls of conversation while she ran joyfully in the grass. I’ve kept away from the news. I’ve blanketed us in the humid air. We look up at the egret gliding toward Charles Island. The curved neck and long feet, white wings stretched soundless with intention.

(Post 171 of 365)

4th of July

Oh this weather! The briny air, the cool breeze, a high tide morning that will slowly recede to sandbars stretching out into the afternoon, good for hermit crab hunting, kite flying, mud digging, warm and shallow swimming.

At midlife, fewer family traditions endure, but 4th of July holds fast. Aunts, uncles, and cousins will travel from other states and gather on the beach, not just our clan but others who grew up alongside us and spent those dreamy summers splashing, waterskiing, sandcastle building. Being together conjures those heydays, infuses the weekend with magic.

Later we’ll gather on my dad’s patio, once my grandparents’ patio, and have a big barbecue, and the third generation of little cousins will run wild until the sun sinks and we all head back to the beach to watch the fireworks over the water.

(Post 166 of 365)