The New Life

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It’s still raining this morning, the third morning in a row I’ve sat on the porch with a veil of gray draping the yard, the pasture across the road, the tall maples and oaks around the cemetery that fills in the western horizon.  The horses don’t seem to care, and continue to forage in the field for whatever is left to eat among the yellow ragweed and purple thistle. The distant call of a loon hovers into the morning from the lake, across the busy state road hidden by trees, so the long wail cuts through the hum of wet tires on pavement.

I’m four days into figuring out this new life of mine, a life that isn’t tightly bound on all sides by time given over to a demanding job.  All the unexpected, and expected, events of this summer combined so that this is the first week I’ve had without appointments, plans, trips — all that’s kept me from seeing if I really can slow down and find a rhythm to my creative life.  I made pizza dough last night for dinner, and as I was kneading the ball of sticky, gooey flour and water threads into a stretchy mass that shone and rolled under the heels of my hands, the body memory of making bread and handling a yeast dough came back to me.  It’s been decades since I had time to make dough.

David’s boat, which he kept on Lake Winnepausauke when his children were young, was called The New Life.  When he moved into this house over two years ago, he hung the sign he’d made for the boat in the barn.  Now that his new studio in the barn is finished, with shelves and desk tops and a counter getting installed this week, the sign has moved.  It’s nailed onto the barn wall, over the wide double doors that face west.  It’s announcement of what is, every day, no matter the circumstances we find ourselves in, is so true.  This moment is always the new life, and in this life time is getting stretchy under my working hands and beginning to shine.

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About Grace Mattern

Grace Mattern is a poet, writer, mother, grandmother, partner, friend, family member, gardener, triathlete, hiker and for 30 years was the Executive Director of the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. She resigned her position at the Coalition on June 15, 2011 in order to concentrate on her writing, while continuing to engage in the movement to end violence against women as a consultant and advisor. Her chapbook Fever of Unknown Origin was published in 2001 and her full-length poetry book The Truth About Death was published in 2012.
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