bloom & grow
January 30, 2013
This morning we walked through the old cemetery I explored as a child. Where we joined the older, cooler, neighbor boys in pretending hollow reeds were cigarettes, certain that I would be found out for such brazen sin. Where I uncovered hidden gravestones and wondered at the lives of those like one simply labeled “husband.” Where I wondered at the hidden treasure of such a spot in the middle of our suburban neighborhood area. I used to imagine that I was the only one who knew this place existed, and that someday I’d discover that it had suddenly bloomed into verdant loveliness, like Mary Lennox in The Secret Garden.
B had already told me that the cemetery had been fixed up a fair bit, thanks to a conscientious neighbor. She said that this gentleman had adopted the place as a sort of therapeutic project after his wife had died. So I knew to expect some changes. But I did not realize that it would feel strange and new, in such a beautifully transporting way. I mused, in between doggie distractions [we had let the dog off the leash so would periodically call her to us to make sure she was still within earshot, rewarding her with our pocket-stash of treats when she did], on the nature of this interim period of life for me.
It has been the most settled I’ve been, in the U.S., for years now. My recent breaks in this country have been hectic, travel-filled periods of time. This one, however, has been a time of logistical preparations, and plenty to fill my days with, but with the odd luxury of staying put for almost a month now. Odd, as well, is the fact that I have a sense of satisfaction about how I’ve been able to settle into a comfortable routine here. This, I believe, is due to the fact that I was growing uneasy with my apparent inability to handle any sort of “normal” American life. But it turns out that, at least for now, at least in the comfort of my grandparents’ home, at least with good friends nearby, I can.
And as much as I enjoy being fully involved in life where I am, I cannot forget where I’ve been. There is a part of me that jumps with fear, wondering where the safe room is, at the sound of multiple booms; then I laugh at myself. Silly me, I think, realizing that of course those would be the weights falling, from the room above me in the Y. Yes, I bear wounds from where I’ve been. But so do we all, from wherever it is that we have been in life. We live with our wounds. And, hopefully, we grow from them.
So here, during this season, I enjoy Spring-like walks in January. And I grow.