remnants of a new life

tree ringsnew potsringsmerleremnants 2olive and the oakstackscaitlinnnlogsheirloom seedslogssremnantslives

you’d have to be here to know that everything still smells like it’s burning. the heat of an early spring seems to magnify the scent that emanates acres of charred trees. i counted one hundred and twelve rings on the guts of a ponderosa the other day. i sat with it while the cup of tea in my hand grew cold and i cried. but i also bought new pots and fresh soil this week. i tended the beets, chard, carrots, and butter head coming up in our neglected garden and i felt better for a while. i cut my hands in four places digging through the shards of pottery, glass, and aluminum i’ve collected in the bottom of a ruined wheelbarrow and i made new things with what i found there. the daffodils are coming up in the same places they did last year, unencumbered by man made borders, and i’m praying my heart will soften as they bloom.

but yesterday

this week the islands we’ve created in our minds seemed to call to us more often. keeping us separate, even together. the exhausting paralysis of two lives in limbo gave bite to even mundane exchanges between husband and wife. “did you forget the avocado?” was suddenly a scathing accusation. a jarring reminder that your head is barely above water and you’re too busy, too tired, too neglected to care. 

but yesterday you stopped me in the hallway. your thick fingers finding the hard line of my jaw and you kissed me so sweetly i felt something inside me break loose. like a boat tethered to a tree between two shores. i wanted to say “i’m sorry,” but you just held me there because you knew. you were saying sorry too.