Transient, transience, ephemeral, impermanent…
I can usually read a prompt or just the title and I’ll let my brain chew on it – I’ll be driving and mentally writing, or mining my memories for connection. Sometimes I go back once to reread it, read the linked poem. Sometimes I go back multiple times and read others’ responses for inspiration.
But, this time I haven’t really wanted to read everyone’s. Two weeks for a writing group felt like it was too fast – I prefer the month long poetry dive where I lost track of time. And also, transience is everywhere at the moment. Summer is ending, school is resuming, the slant of light has changed, the sun is going down earlier, the temperatures have turned cooler, fall sports are beginning, I’m starting Christmas ornament painting & planning for Halloween face painting.
Although I most struggle with depression in the winter – holidays, but especially come January through March when it feels like spring and sunshine will NEVER return – I’m also aware, in my rational moments, that it’s only in having darkness that I really appreciate the light.
When I taught full-time I always included Frost’s “Nothing Gold Can Stay.” Yes, it’s a testament to the impermanence of seasons, but also to youth, naïveté, and those things we consider “shiny” in life.
Nature’s first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold
Her early leaf’s a flower
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf
So Eden sank to grief
So dawn goes down to day
Nothing gold can stay.
But, there’s something to be said for a dull shine with dings in it. My body is no longer a baby’s and my heart has had some battering, my emotions have some scars and I can’t “unlearn” my experiences. But, that’s ok – I’m, in some ways, far more beautiful now than back in the ’70s when I was a little girl. My scars are funny stories or proof that I’ve persevered. My experiences have made me more empathetic, less judgmental, more open and interested in learning. My heart remains hopeful and open enough for a brave and strong man with a good sense of humor, some intellect, and a love of dogs to join me.
Until then, I’ll bask in the sun, smell the crisp leaves as they change colors and fall all over my path, and paint my world full of sunshine when I need it most.