“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

2.02.2009

Seeing over the Edge

These tulips don't grow on a tree.
You pick them from a case inside a grocery store.

Such a crazy weekend. Silliness everywhere, annoyances everywhere, but lots & lots of sunshine outside - the first time in quite a little while that I was awakened by sunshine & birdsong. I looked & looked to see what kind of bird it was - I am so bad at knowing which song equals which bird; I hereby vow to change that - but could not quite see over the edge of the roof to where it sat. That little phrase - I could not quite see over the edge - seems to hold a deeper meaning that it first appears, does it not? To be able to see over the edge of things, events - would life be easier, or only more dull? For instance, last night's Superbowl party. (Trust me, I will tie these thoughts together.)

Last night's Superbowl party. In the woods, mind you. Like a gypsy caravan stopped for the night - motor homes & travel trailers parked in a circle, tents covering an outdoor kitchen with running water, tables & tables of food, a fire pit, a big screen tv visible from almost anywhere you sat or stood. Steaks for the asking - how do I want mine cooked? I was so-kindly asked, a plate of boiled shrimp, potatoes, corn on the cob, salads of all kinds, desserts (including rumballs & orange sherbet pie), plenty of ice & beverages (Katie was drinking The Other Woman wine), friendly people, a dachshund in a pink sweater/coat, other dogs, a puppy, a storm threatening, lights hanging about. All in the middle of the woods, like I said. At some point during the 3rd quarter, a question - who wants to take the 4-wheeler down into the creek bottom? Yes, the creek bottom. In the dark. Not really much of a creek, just a very much lower place in the woods. I volunteered myself & the lovely Katie - she being the driver, although she hadn't driven one in years, since she grew up, but with a minute of instructions from the ever-wonderful Michael we were off into the unknown. Over that edge we couldn't see. (See? I told you this story would tie in with that little Saturday morning bird.) I'd been there before, but Katie hadn't, and all I really remembered was a very steep spot in the trail, taking us down, down, down into the woods, and there we were, the temperature much cooler, the moon overhead, stars a bit more visible for some reason, hoping we'd see a wild hog or a deer skittering away from us. We didn't however & were back up to the gypsy circle much too soon, but ahead of the storm and in time to see the rest of the game. Tents were secured against the wind and everyone moved in closer to the tv - plenty of room, rows of chairs - as lightning flashed overhead & the rain began.

On our way home, an almost-collision. Someone in my lane, heading the wrong way on the road. There was no time to even stop - they appeared from nowhere - but I swerved around them on the wet road, held my breath for a moment as I felt us begin to slide, then the tires caught & we were fine, we continued on, and truly, truly, my heart rate increased not one whit. If I'd known that before setting out - if I could have seen over the edge of the evening & known about that car in the wrong lane, would I have gone? Probably not - I know me. But I didn't know & we had a great time & it turned out to be nothing - an almost-collision is only that.

None of this, however, has anything at all to do with those tulips at the top of this page. Except, perhaps, that they, too were part of a great weekend. They were waiting on me when I got home last night.

"I had a compass from Denys.
To steer by, he said.
But later it came to me that we navigated differently;
maybe he knew, as I did not,
that the earth was made round,
so that we would not see the way too far ahead of us. "
~ Isak Dinesen / Out of Africa
denys said he didn't always want to know where he was going

9 comments:

  1. I love "Out of Africa"--one of my favorite movies.

    The only birdsongs I can identify are a cardinal's and a mourning dove's.

    So glad it was only an almost-collision...

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  2. An incredible book also. Isak Dinesen was an incredible writer & lived an incredible life.

    :) Debi

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  3. Yes--I agree about the book as well. I nominated you for an award over at my blog...

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  4. Sounds like it was a full weekend. the tulips are perfection and I also loved the movie and the book (especially the book)

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  5. Oh. Like Isak Dinesen, you are a born story teller. beautiful flowers, birdsong, a perfect quote, a little shiver, a magical party...Even with football, a gathering in the woods is always magical. Oh yes. You can tell a tale.

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  6. What a great time, I know because I was with you. We lead such magical lives because we both choose to live in the moment ( most of the time) :) Early that day we had no idea we were going to end up at that superbowl party. The things we end up doing together, whether it be shopping, watching a Cary Grant movie or end up at the lake during the summer with all those wonderful people it seems it's never planned. It's what living magically is all about! I am so grateful for our friendship! Love you Debi!

    Katie

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  7. I needed this in a BIG BIG way.

    I am someone who is always trying to peer over the edge...always wanting to know what's next..looking for the sense of security in that. This post nudges me just a little, to let go, to be in the moment and trust that what I need to see will be revealed in its own right time.

    Much love
    xo

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  8. A Square Peg - Thank you! I'm flattered!!!

    Suvarna - It was quite a full, wonderful weekend. The tulips were like icing on a really good cake!

    Relyn - Oh, you are too kind. If I could tell a tale like Ms. Dinesen, I would feel I had really accomplished something. Reading her stories of her life is a magical experience.

    Miss Katie - You fabulous creature! You are such an inspiration to me, to keep me in this moment, to stop me (as much as possible - lol!) from agonizing over the past & future. We are lucky to lead the lives we lead & know the people we know - who are not bound to any time schedules or rules, who love to play. I count myself also lucky for your friendship & love you right back! :)

    Jaime - Oh, thank you! I felt so awkward about posting this, and in fact had posted & removed it, only to be kindly chastised by the lovely, lovely Katie, who convinced me to re-post it. She is much better at this moment right now than I!

    :) Debi

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  9. i was going to say....who would have guessed that a superbowl party could be so exotic? but then it is you telling the story isn't it. i realize you had quite a good set of props to work with though... and meeting the ever lovely, lovely katie is an honor i didn't know i would have when i opened up this particular post. hello katie! isak ninesen has nothing on you girl. and i say that in al seriousness.
    xo

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