Monday, August 26, 2013

Ox Bow Moment

A couple weeks ago, Katie and David built this simple fire ring for me. I've been dreaming of a gathering place in my back yard. Twenty five years ago, when we walked through this house, not even imaging we would buy it, just looking at anything from a realtor or the paper, we ended the tour on a porch edging a lush green back yard. As I joke with my children, never be impressed with a deep green yard during a drought. Most of the time, the yard is too wet to do much of anything in it. An underground spring runs at the bottom of this former farm land. Our neighbors across the street have lost burn barrel after burn barrel, sinking into the muck.
My husband and daughter built the fire ring away from the seepage of the spring. Our tomato tree, a sliver maple that grew in the fence of Mary Ellen's tomato plant many years ago, shades the ring. My mood this Sunday evening ran toward melancholy. My family is growing up and though not physically away, the girls expressed growing pains.
A natural part of growing up demands going away, at least for a while. They aren't flying the coop. I look for empty nest as a rhythm of life. Restlessness fills our home. I wrote from some of this for Maria in Summer Triangle.
This night, after the physical labor, the fire crackling slowing down for marshmallows, the four of us stayed around it. We talked and laughed. The tension of the last few months faded away for a few minutes. We ventured not to the old group hugs of days ago, when the girls were smaller, but we lived the closeness of those days for a part of the evening.
The evening ended with me watching the fire die alone. I had peace as a mother can when her family loves each other in enjoyment of their company. We made plans for improvements on the property. We laughed and had a hot dog together. Fleeting moments from the promise of a strong family start. Life flows like an ox bow. We keep going forward, doubling back at times, but never staying stagnant.
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