Spring comes over and over again, but never the same way twice.
From A Christmas Memory: “Having stuffed our burlap sacks with enough greenery and crimson to garland a dozen windows, we set about choosing a tree. “It should be,” muses my friend, “twice as tall as a boy. So a boy can’t steal the star.” The one we pick is twice as tall as me. A brave handsome brute that survives thirty hatchet strokes before it keels with a creaking rending cry. Lugging it like a kill, we commence the long trek out. Every few yards we abandon the struggle, sit down and pant. But we have the strength of triumphant huntsmen; that and the tree’s virile, icy perfume revive us, goad us on. Many compliments accompany our sunset return along the red clay road to town; but my friend is sly and noncommittal when passers-by praise the treasure perched in our buggy: what a fine tree, and where did it come from? “Yonderways,” she murmurs vaguely. Once a car stops, and the rich mill owner’s lazy wife leans out and whines: “Giveya two-bits” cash for that ol tree.” Ordinarily my friend is afraid of saying no; but on this occasion she promptly shakes her head: “We wouldn’t take a dollar.” The mill owner’s wife persists. “A dollar, my foot! Fifty cents. That’s my last offer. Goodness, woman, you can get another one.” In answer, my friend gently reflects: “I doubt it. There’s never two of anything.”
In the very earliest time,
when both people and animals lived on earth,
a person could become an animal if he wanted to
and an animal could become a human being.
Sometimes they were people
and sometimes they were animals
and there was no difference.
All spoke the same language.
That was the time when words were like magic.
The human mind had mysterious powers.
A word spoken by chance
might have strange consequences.
It would suddenly come alive
and what people wanted to happen could happen–
all you had to do was say it.
Nobody could explain this.
–Anonymous Inuit Poem
Words spoken from the heart have strange consequences. They serve as gifts from afar. Poignant: profoundly moving, painful, keen, distressing to the mind or feelings; piercing, incisive; neat, skillful, to the point; astute and pertinent; relevant.
“It was like the moment when a bird decides not to eat from your hand, and flies, just before it flies, the moment the rivers seem to still and stop because a storm is coming, but there is no storm, as when a hundred starlings lift and bank together before they wheel and drop, very much like the moment, driving on bad ice, when it occurs to you your car could spin, just before it slowly begins to spin, like the moment just before you forgot what you were going to say, it was like that, and after that, it was still like that, only all the time.
by Marie Howe, Part of Eve’s Discussion
Since you’re thinking of metaphors, I wanted to share these lyrics by Adam Guettel (grandson of Richard Rodgers). The song is featured in the show Floyd Collins, which is based on the true story of a man caught in a sand cave in the 1920s and the media circus surrounding his plight. The song, “How Glory Goes,” is sung by Floyd towrd the end, as his hopes for rescue grow dim.
This song keeps running through my head whenever I think about you and J. If you would like to hear it, I reccomend the Audra McDonald version.
How Glory Goes
Is it warm?
Is it soft against your face?
Do you feel a kind a’ grace inside the breeze?
Will there be trees?
Is there light?
Does it hover on the ground?
Does it shine from all around, or jes’ from you?
Is it endless and empty, an’ you wander on your own?
Slowly forgit about the folks that you have known?
Or does risin’ bread fill up the air
from open kitchens every where?
Familiar faces far as you can see, like a family?
Do we live?
Is it like a little town?
Do we get to look back down at who we love?
Are we above?
Are we ev’rywhere?
Are we anywhere at all?
Do we hear a trumpet call us an’ we’re by your side?
Will I want,
Will I wish for all the things I should have done,
Longing to finish what I only just begun?
Or has a shinin’ truth been waitin’ there
for all the questions ev’ry where?
In a word a’ wond’rin’ suddenly you know;
An’ you will always know…
Will my mama be there waitin’ for me,
Smilin’ like the way she does,
an’ holdin’ out her arms, and she calls my name?
She will hold me just the same…
Only heaven knows how glory goes,
what each of us was meant to be.
In the starlight, that is what we are.