Sunday, June 01, 2008


If your life is anything like mine, there are periods when things seem worried, tense, full of obstacles, and, then, there are periods when everything is simply unimaginably sweet. I've always shorthanded this phenom in my own mind with a saying from one of the Dune books: Some days, it's melange. Some days, bitter spice. Lately, I've definitely been in one of my melange stages. (Don't worry; this is usually how the universe presages a whack upside the head. Another of my favorite lines, this time from the movie Out of Africa: Isak Dinesen's farm burns to the ground. The next day, she's walking with an old friend through the smoldering ruins. Friend: What happened? Dinesen: I had the best coffee harvest of my life. And, then, God remembered.)

Yesterday, I got to spend the day with G/Son. I try, I do, not to turn this blog into Old Woman Tells Everyone How Cute Her Grandson Is. I am not always successful.

We had a v serious thunderstorm with pounding rain and, since I love thunderstorms, G/Son and I went out onto my screen porch to watch the rain. Lightening struck my next door neighbor's pond and the thunder was so sudden and so loud that it startled Nonna and G/Son. We went inside for a minute, and G/Son said: That loud thunder scared me! The one thing that I don't want is for him to be afraid of storms, and the other thing that I don't want is for him to be unable to talk about his fears, so I said: Me, too. That thunder was so close and so loud that it scared me, too. Mostly, I was just startled, but, also, I was a little bit afraid. Let's go outside and yell at the thunder! (Goddess knows, it's been the overriding occupation of my days, yelling into thunderstorms. Really. In more ways than one.)

So, we did. We went back onto the porch and we both yelled as loud as we possibly could at the thunder. (We can yell pretty loud.) G/Son told the thunder: Don' do dat! Be nice! Be loud, but not so loud! No scaring G/Son and Nonna, thunder! Nonna yelled: I can be louder than you, thunder! You can't scare me off my own screen porch! Don' do dat! Soon, you'll be gone and G/Son and Nonna will be dancing in the puddles, you loud thunder! Back off!

Soon, the thunder was gone. We took off our Crocks and our flip-flops and we went outside barefoot in Nonna's yard. The grass was cool and wet and soft and it tickled our toes. I told G/Son about how you can grock that grass loves to be walked on. Rain was still dripping off the lilac bush and beech tree when we walked under them. There was a stream of water running down Nonna's street into the storm drain that goes to the holy Chesapeake Bay. We splashed in the stream and sent little blessings on leaves from us to the Chesapeake Bay. Here, Chesapeake Bay, this is to say that we love you. Here, Chesapeake Bay, this leaf is to tell you that we hope you get better soon from the pollution. Here, Chesapeake Bay, this is to tell you how much fun we are having splashing in the water that will be a part of you! Those leaves floated like little boats and we talked about Viking funerals and sending blessings into the West, which, not too surprisingly, is the direction that the little stream always flows. There were some birds splashing their feet in the water, too, just like G/Son and Nonna, and we pretended that we were birds and could splash in the water and then fly into the oak trees.

This morning, there was no sign of rain. It was a perfect, lazy, Sunday morning in June on Nonna's porch with the pink and deep purple roses blooming in mad profusion just outside the porch and the mint and thyme smelling wonderful under the bright sun. We sat under the lazy ceiling fan, and we ate waffles with strawberry jam and we drank ice water from paper cups with Elmo on them. We read Stellaluna and The Coyote That Swallowed a Flea and G/Son petted Miss Thing (gently!) and fed her kitty treats, exclaiming in pure delight with each one: She's eating it! G/Son swung his feet from the big chair on my porch and we listened to the birds singing in the trees and tried to guess what the birds were saying.

If it gets any better than this, I would be unlikely to be able to stand it. We witches say that What Is Remembered Lives. At two, G/Son's a little young to remember this morning. But if he ever, as an old man, gets a whiff of strawberry jam and roses on a Sunday morning in June and has a moment when he feels safe and comfortable and at peace, I will not die. And, regardless, sweet, sweet mornings like this one can make up for a lot of bitter spice.

May it be so for you.


VforVirginia said...

Auntie Virginia puddled up, particularly the Chesapeake Bay part.

What a great grandmother that kid has.

Libby Spencer said...

Bless the Goddess. That was just gorgeous Hecate. Puddles leaking from the corner of my eyes as well.

George said...

Wish I had had a Nonna like you. I really, really do.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that is suck a moving slice of life. I'm sure he'll remember.

D-I-L said...

I think G/S's Nonna is a fantastic grandmother too. Thank you for giving him so much life, in addition to the Bertie bus.

elizabeth said...

Hecate, have I told you lately how very much I love you?


Anne Johnson said...

I had a nonna like you, and she is enshrined in my heart as holy unto the universe!

pie said...

Okay, that made me smile.
Lucky grandson.

Lucky you.