I have been full steam ahead on the garden, family, and preparing to head to Skagway for the Northwords Writers Symposium (today thru Saturday.) I'll hop a fast ferry from the cruise ship dock right after I do my reading on the ship from 4-5. I haven't packed. I planted potatoes instead. And I went bike riding and fell this morning. I know, don't gasp. I'm fine.
Chip and I collided going slowly, a miscommunication, and I only skinned my elbow, bumped my head (my helmet saved it from harm) and bruised my psyche. It scared me. As it should. I was planning on taking my bike to Skagway but will leave it home now I think.
Yesterday, two little grand daughters toddled over when I had planned to update you on the news of the week, and I didn't have the heart to send them home, and then I had another grandchild's planned visit all afternoon, so we planted the tomatoes in the greenhouse and thinned lettuce, and Ivy played the piano and wrote a book about mermaids, lizards, and a wolf inspired by her big sister's end of the year reading in the K-1 class room that we attended this week together. Afterwards, I got my hair cut for Skagway, so I'd look like a proper writer who had it sort of together, and it's now shorter than I had planned, but Jackie said she has new scissors and they cut faster. Hair grows. Everything does, you know?
Last night was high school graduation, and the school made a new tradition this year. Earlier in the day, when the two dozen seniors picked up their green and white caps and gowns and practiced the program and moving the tassels from one side of the mortar board to the other, they kept their gowns on and began down in the Kindergarten room, and processed in front of the students and teachers in each grade, right on through the whole the school while everyone stood in the hall and applauded them. What a moment that was for the little children to realize where they are going, and for the big ones to understand where they had been, and to really see and feel all the teachers and classes and friends who helped them arrive at the commencement of the next phase of their lives.
Listening to the news this morning, I heard an old friend on the radio. He's from Juneau and works for Skagway's government. At the same moment, when I was thinking how I miss him and his wife, who is a great friend of mine, and has been for decades but we haven't seen as much of each other as we used to. (How did this happen-- decades of friendships. Isn't that something?) Then, she texted me. Just like that. Out of the blue. I said I missed her, and she said she can't believe her youngest child is on her way to college next year, and that we have known each other since we were both pregnant and now I have grandchildren. Right after that Burl, who was hosting the morning music show, played Mary Chapin Carpenter's song about stones in the road, and growing up,sitting at desks in school and the family dinner table and really where time goes, and while it was probably the bump on my head, or my anxiety at traveling to Skagway for four days, or this graduation time of year, I started to cry.
That's what kind of morning this is. It's good to be here, with so much growing and changing, and even as I feel the tug of time's tide, it's a good tug. The way life is supposed to be. I'm especially thankful that I bounced back from this morning's fall, and all the other ones, perhaps even a tad wiser for them, and that I can still smell the lilacs and hear the music.