On Leaving

The Peonies Have Popped

The Peonies Have Popped

It’s just a short trip, but lately it’s always the same. Leaving to go anywhere gets me feeling all mournful and elegiac, and right now when the garden is just beginning to leap, it’s especially hard to pull away. Everything is so lush and green, the peas are finally starting to blossom, and my peonies have just popped! The lettuce is ample and luscious, cherries are turning bright red on the old tree in the yard and I’ve just spotted the first hummingbirds returning from their long winter journey. That’s how I feel–I’ve just arrived at summer and now it’s time to turn and go again.

I start seeing that plaintive look in the dogs’ eyes. They have some uncanny sense of an imminent departure, hopeful that they’re going as well. But soon enough they know what’s up, take their place on the bed to watch me pack, and sigh. (The cats, however, clearly don’t care). Also, there’s Big Bird, my brand new bright yellow truck sitting under the carport, calling me to go pick up some dirt –or something. That too will have to wait, but only for a few days. In the meantime, I’m off to such wonderful things–a family wedding in a most beautiful place, several days in an exciting city, a time of connecting with important people in my life that I don’t get to see very often. I know it’s good, even necessary, to sometimes move around in the world. We need to move our selves and our perspectives just like we need to move our bodies.  I like this quote I read  yesterday in an essay by Elizabeth Gurumukh,  attributed to Walter Lippman. “Where we sit determines what we see–so sometimes it is important to change seats.” My occasional coming and going only enhances my experience of whatever it is I call home. 

The very best part of it, the thing that has me turning towards the door, is that I get to see my son Cameron. First I get to wrap him up in a big hug and have him filling my arms and my heart till bursting, then I can feast on the sight of him and see how he’s grown into such a beautiful and able young man, and look into his eyes and feel such huge love and gratitude that I get to have this person in my life–and it’s all good. Leaving the peonies behind doesn’t seem like much in comparison.


  1. Robyn says

    I think I need a box of kleenex! How is it you always know how to articulate what I feel! All I can say is I know the feeling…
    Sounds like a grand time!! I feel the immense love you feel for your son and can’t wait until I see Alex. Are those the peonies we transplanted? Prior to reading this I sent an e-mail…I’m needing some farm therapy!!

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