Snapshot / by Christina Rosalie

Two years ago today I was watching gold finches and feeling rain. I was moving from rumpled sheets to shower, feeling my body linger on the cusp of sleep deprivation in the midst of Bean’s early toddlerhood. One year ago I was eating peaches and watching finches and feeling ready for anything. It’s funny, having a blog. It makes you return to your former selves, finding where you were at on this day or that, a year ago or two. It snares small moments in the weft of life; keeps them there even after memory grows fickle and occupied with greater things than the small fragments of a day.

I’m in such a different place this year, my body doing this crazy and miraculous thing. I’m sensitive and distracted and sporadic. Everyday is like the twirling flight of the bats I watch every evening. They come from within the eaves, darting about in the melon colored light of after sunset.

I’m unsettled, even as I’m content. I have this ridiculous urge to nest, to dig in, to just be in this small corner of land, and it feels so out of character to just want to be here. But the thought of traveling makes me want to tuck my knees to my chest and move closer to the softest pillows on the couch.

Here is all I want, with my cat curled next to me, her gentle purr making the air vibrate along my thigh. Yet I am hungry—for more than just this: curling towards myself, protective and quiet.

Hungry for art. I’ve spent so long without it, I feel an unfamiliar resistance at the thought of gathering up glue and scissors and paint. Hungry for running, and while I’ve gone for several runs recently, the days are too unpredictable and filled with nausea to make any of it a routine. Hungry for good food.

Inexplicably, I feel like I’m in a state of limbo now, a nine month limbo waiting for this little one.

Will it always feel this way? Like I’m holding my breath, like the two small lines of the pause icon have been stamped across my days? I am holding my breath, waiting, at the very least for this nausea to stop. It makes me a husk of myself. I linger in bed mornings without the gusto to rise.

It has also been a summer of rain which has left us always on tiptoe expecting summer to start. The grass is verdant and waist high in the meadows, but the air is always damp. Every day thunder. Every day out the window I watch the rain come up the valley towards us: a steel gray cloud against the paler blue of the summer sky. It arrives quickly, thrashing the leaves and pelting the windows.

And the garden, well, it’s rampant and wild. Tomato plants as high has my shoulders; little orange cherry tomatoes as sweet as sugar; beef steaks still green, and five other kinds, all in various stages of ripening. Beans by the colander full (should I blanch and freeze them?) Basil to be made into pesto; empty beds waiting where the peas and broccoli were—waiting for late summer seeds and early autumn crops, while I stay indoors writing, a deadline and a trip to Colorado for more writing with Pam before the month is out.

In late June the sky was light at nine. Now at quarter-to the sky is already indigo and the insects rattle their warning: summer is ending. Already, passing over the bridge at the end of the road, I saw the first red leaves on a maple. My heart flutters at this so soon turning. The ache of last season’s winter still clings close.

What were you doing last year, or the year before? How have you changed?