“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


The Last Leaf Before The Leaving

Just yesterday morning this leaf was still here,
the last of the dogwoods outside the front door.
But there were winds last night
they stole it away as they flew by,
and I feel like Forrest Gump saying
and just like that it was gone.

But just like that it was gone,
who knows where?,
but gone away, gone ahead, gone.

There are pictures of snow on the television, and my jaw that always hurts when the wind gets up and the air turns cold is hurting, pain spreading through my teeth and the left side of my face and even along the side of my nose; who needs the weather channel except for numbers? and, of course, scenes of destruction, things gone away, and I keep the sound off as usual unless it looks exciting, and flip through the stations, and find a station talking about the spending freeze, which makes me laugh in more ways than one, and on another they are discussing whether Hurricane Katrina might've been a good thing, for which I admit I have to turn on the sound, apparently the Education Secretary said it was?, and suddenly everyone on the station supports school vouchers, and at that I have to turn the sound off because I remember when they didn't, when they thought it was a ridiculous notion, but those opinions are gone, gone, in fact no doubt never existed if we were to ask them, we have always been at war with Eastasia.

The television goes off, I can only take so much, and I once again turn to the scene in front of me, the cold outdoors, neighbors walking dogs, squirrels running across the yard, the greens and grays and browns, and empty trees that block nothing from my view. It is quiet when it's cold here, you would almost think we had snow, so different from a springtime Saturday morning or summer, when everyone is up mowing their lawns before the heat sets in, and I hold that thought close, that this cold will soon be gone also, I see summertime ahead and flowers in trees, more than Mary's already blooming white camellias, and that's what this is really all about, I think, this long ramble about nothing but gone-ness. I think I am healing - not my jaw, though that pain is almost gone also, but healing from this last year, and yes, about time, you might say, but I have never been fast at this sort of thing, always bad at letting go. But I feel it, I feel a slight change, a slight ease, even when I look out the window and see Mary's house so different, there is still an easing of the hurt of last year, truly almost a year ago, just a couple of weeks away. There are stories to tell, conversations to be had, and the year ahead holds good things, some already begun, some just waiting to be said out loud, still secrets at the moment.

I have had a month of navigating.
A compass pointing north
lays atop a book titled Coming Home,
one of a stack of books holding a lamp.
Things coming.
Not gone.


  1. This is one of those posts where I want to acknowledge that I came and read and heard you. And I wish there were one word to say that but there isn't.

    "Things coming. Not gone." - words to live by.

  2. This is one of those posts where I want to acknowledge that I came and read and heard you. And I wish there were one word to say that but there isn't.

    "Things coming. Not gone." - words to live by.

  3. I'm glad you loved that video....
    and I think it's a great gift for your niece !
    I hope she loves it and understands it and saves it and comes back to it when she reaches her older teens and thinks at time her parents are crazy and don't know anything....

  4. and your words today were beautiful and painful and heard and understood.....

  5. I believe I understand your post well this morning. I remember Mary last year... about the same time my beloved grandma left last year. I remember and miss...

    Is the book titled "coming home" written by Rosamund Pilcher by any chance? ~V~

  6. it is not quite right when it is so cold is it? not wrong but like you say..quiet...

    thanks for your leaf and words friend

  7. Beautiful. This reminds me of a story my grandmother used to tell me when I was a little girl, a story that impressed me deeply back then. It was of a sick girl whose prognosis was that she wouldn't survive the winter. From the bed in her room she could see her favorite tree and when winter came it lost all its leaves bar one. When she awoke in the morning and that one leaf was still there she held on for another day. And another. And another. Until winter was over and spring had come and she was getting better and eventually recovered. And she never knew that her mother had climbed up that tree and glued or pinned that leaf into place, so that it never had a chance of falling off.

  8. A poignant post, as is Kerstin's comment above...and your words,"The televsion goes off. I can only take so much". Can understand that.By the way, I do very much like the photo of the fledgling American Crow that is featured on your side bar Debi. Keep warm and keep writing. Your words are heard and acknowleged right across the sea. Thank you for allowing me to post about your ability to capture thoughts and emotions so well.

  9. coming here reminds me home to me.

  10. Such beautiful words...so powerful..healing...both hopeful and sad.

  11. You've had such a trying year...and I know that there is a light growing warmer and brighter as you look into your future, into this next year. Good things are manifesting as you ease into these new days.


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