“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


times of no names

under the table at the foot of my bed, children's chairs catch the morning sun and the rumpled blankets from last night's dreams.  it is a hidey-hole for the cat; she jumps at me as i pass by and i pretend to not know she was there.  she feels happy and hidden and safe to her bones and i admit i feel happy myself, humbled she has made my home hers, and a wee bit jealous of her small private space.  this summer, i think to myself, a spot in the backyard.  a pretty piece of escape.

i have already bypassed spring in my dreams, already seeing the summer ahead, but i am living in the now and the here.  especially the now, trying not to look too far down the road, where it disappears into the trees and meets the sun as it settles in for the night.  here is easy. now has always been the hard part.

yesterday, home from work, i wanted to be outside, if only for a few minutes as the sun began to lower.  and so, the creek, right where it curves around and heads off to the west, where boards from a project earlier in the year still form a makeshift bridge, where the light was just right, where i could sit for a few minutes and breathe, where the cat, no longer afraid of those boards, came and sprawled for a bit, enticing me to sprawl for a bit myself.  a very nice spot, as it turns out, there under the sky, over the water, the owls hooting in the magnolia tree.  almost spring.  the cold and ice cost the pear tree its chance to blossom, but there are buds on the cherry laurel and there are red camellias.  an almost-spring unlike any other.  as they all are.

this morning is just as sunshiny as yesterday, looking warmer than it really is. looking still like winter, the trees barely leafing, the wisteria vines still just vines.  i can still see the church steeple from my couch, though i notice the tree that usually blocks it from my view by spring has gone a bit soft and fuzzy.  soon, i think.  soon.

see how easily i did that?  moved from the now to the soon?  the trees are bones and i am anxious for them to be flesh and blood and leaves, for the birds' nests to be hidden once again.  but today is still winter despite the sunshine.  another in-between time.  tomorrow is spring and the weekend will be cooler than today.

these in between times and places are intriguing me - the times we have no names for.  not yet spring, not winter.  not yet dusk, but not really daytime.  not still grieving, not yet healed.  hidden, but in plain view.  the places on the doctor's charts - is the pain a 1 or closer to 10? - that you really have no answer for.  the colors not in the crayon box.  the words the dictionary has yet to discover.


a cardinal, red against the wisteria vines, tumbles into the creek below, thirsty.  the cat sleeps before the fire.  across the street, the paperwhites that were on their knees just a week ago, are standing tall, and some have new blossoms, dots of white against the greening grass.  there are breezes, and sparrows on the hackberry tree, hanging from the tips of tiny branches.  i like the way they look like leaves.



  1. I'm so glad we have things that have no names, that haven't been cataloged or categorized or labeled yet, and things we can make our own very particular and most fitting names for (but only if we choose to). I hope we always have those kinds of things and places.

  2. "the trees are bones and i am anxious for them to be flesh and blood and leaves"...yes, thank you for all of these in-between words, that take me to an in-between world.

    they may not be in the dictionary, but they are always in your writing.

    today it is grey again here, though yesterday the sun was out, struggling to warm the chilly air. i forced myself out for a little walk, just to feel it on my face.

    and you are right, now is such a hard, elusive in-between place. always a temporary one.

  3. I find myself longing for spring, too. And, I want it NOW!


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