We jumped ship. Left the girls to their own devices, plus a debit card, and retreated to our favorite getaway. It’s our birthday weekend, the first low-key weekend after the run of Christmas and New Years (unless you count Elvis’s birthday as a major holiday, which I do, since it’s also mine).  After a long and difficult Fall – beginning with 6 days in Children’s Hospital, then my aunt’s death, mom’s diagnosis, dad’s Alzheimer’s onset…we needed a little celebratory escape.

 And so we light fires in our Inn room and explore the trails around an old flooded rice field. We watch mergansers and coots, with their short black velvet necks and squeaky-toy sounds, maneuver the pond like skaters in Central Park. We pause as anhingas and herons on awesome swooping wings parade overhead. The sun on the water is outrageous, transforming it into blinding tinfoil. Bits of the pond and creek beds wear thin lacey ice. We walk. Listen. Wonder if our toes will ever thaw. Say little, and walk more.

I think of how much has changed in my family’s landscape since the spring when we last visitied this place, and how much has changed here, amid winter’s candor. The alligators are tucked away, slowed to an enviable minimalist state. The usually rowdy bullfrogs are silent. The wind hums “shush, shush” through the dead reeds. Life is retracted. Dormant. Bracing itself for what comes, as I am too.

Bracing, and embracing, at the same time. And huddling by the fire, thankful for wool socks, a Duraflame husband, another birthday.


~ by Stephanie on 01/10/2010.

4 Responses to “Amorous.Lazy.Sojourn”

  1. Oh, Steph, you took my breath. Beautiful to the core. I’m warmed by your fire. Susan

  2. Warm and lovely. Happy Birthday Stephanie! Eliza

  3. Thank you. sally

  4. Happy Birthday, dear friend. You two have always had such a beautiful relationship.

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