Waiting

For the turning of the tide.

fullsizeoutput_15d1

Life is filled with longings, hopes, dreams, and waiting. Always waiting it seems. When my husband and I were young and newly married, it seemed we waited a lot. Waited for the next pay check, waited to start a family, waited to be more financially more secure. Waited for things to be easier. We didn’t stop living, but we were so conditioned and focused toward working toward a future goal, a better life, that I think often we didn’t savor what we did have in the moment. We were happy and deeply in love but were always looking forward, forward, to when times might get easier.

But I wonder now, a year after my husband of 44 years has died, if we also lost a little in the process. This holiday season, I have been missing him terribly and thinking back to those early years together when so many things seemed like a struggle that we sometimes forgot to live in the present. I think back now and wish that I could have appreciated a little more then, what was then.

On this Christmas afternoon just past, as it stretched into the fourth night of Hanukah for my young grandchildren, my heart was aching for those early years of marriage and children and hope. Yet the sorrow was vying with the fact that I knew that I was in the process of making new memories with them. I hope they will remember the Hanukah/Christmas that I began to teach the 7 year old how to use a sewing machine and helped the 4½ year old make a unicorn purse and string a heart necklace.

I hope that they will remember. Because now it seems that time is moving in reverse. I used to dwell in the future. But now if I dwell too much in the past, I will still not be able to  fully live in the present. Surely there is a balance to be had, of looking forward and hoping, while holding onto the memories and love of the past. And not losing either.

The tide comes in and nourishes the seaweed on the rock, then temporarily withdraws, allowing the seaweed access to light and air. It seems so simple when looked at like that. But it is anything but simple. It is, in fact, a complex ebbing and flowing that has taken eons for nature to perfect. How do I learn to manage that, keeping the delicate balance between holding and letting go?

Riding The Winter Thermals

Crows are joyous birds.* Here they are a dusk, having joyously ridden the thermal “Breath of Winter,” and are trying to settle down for the night, all the while calling and squawking and speaking their mind from tree to tree, in a last family discussion before sleep.

fullsizeoutput_13fd

*There have been flocks of resident crows in the Lake Merritt area of Oakland for…..  I don’t know how many decades. Every morning the flocks wheel around our 22 story building and spend the day in the general area of the lake. Come dusk, they reverse the pattern, flying off to their roost for the night. Because of their constant presence, I have started to learn a few things about crows. This huge group of flying crows is called river of crows. They are highly intelligent, and live in large close knit family groups. While they do not nest in colonies (each mating pair builds an individual nest), the whole close knit family works together to forage, defend their territory, and care for their young.

They do not sleep in their nests other than to raise their young, however – they roost in trees. And according to Audubon’s Where Crows Go At Night  they have “a giant avian slumber party. Gathering in a park or woodland, they land in a tree, then scuffle and shuffle and squawk, filtering down through the branches.”

And “scuffle and shuffle and squawk,” I can tell you, is exactly what they do. Their carryings-on can be deafening.

Posted for K’lee and Dale’s Cosmic Photo Challenge: Winter’s Breath.