"Don't get hit," my husband says as I walk out the door for my commute, a gentle reminder that I am loved that will hug me tightly filling me with an inner warmth for a few moments. Despite the fact that he is not comfortable with my commuting when it is no longer light in the mornings he has helped as I put the lights that guided me through PBP 2007 back on my Trek to light my way through the early morning darkness that comes with the shortening days heralding winter. Red lights blinking, I cautiously head toward town and the east. Morning coolness surrounds me and despite the fact that it is August and will be ablaze with warmth later this day, I briefly shiver, my arms covered with goosebumps. I think of how I would like to be headed somewhere other than work, of how I would much rather go exploring, but responsibility corrals my longings and I try to appreciate the fact that I have work to head toward: not everyone these days is so fortunate. There is a comfort in knowing that my labor is expected and needed, and that I will be recompensed in more ways than the small financial benefit I reap. Still, the world would be a happier place if there were no need for a child welfare worker. But this world will never be safe from people who don't realize the greatness of the gift they are given when they are blessed with children.
Fog covers the earth like a blanket, a gossamery silver that shimmers in the light thrown by my head lamps. In the east, blushing rose pink the morning shyly kisses the shoulders of earth's horizon, stunning beautiful and full of promise. The sounds of morning, while not the joyful, raucous sounds of spring time, still permeate the air: not yet the dead silence that is winter. Passing a corn field, I hear the sounds of the dry leaves shuddering at the passing of a gentle breeze, and I think that soon it will be harvest, at least for those whose corn bore fruit despite the drought. Being a gardener, I have experienced first hand the disappointment of hard work that bears no fruit. But perhaps that is what makes those times that we harvest that much sweeter. I think of the jars of canned tomatoes on my basement shelf waiting for winter to bring the warmth of summer back for the tiniest moment to the dinner table.
After my husband's open heart surgery, my canned tomatoes were the only thing that tasted good to him for the longest time, and I am never comfortable going into a winter without them, a talisman against the bad things that happen to us. Last year I did not can as I had no garden, but despite the drought this years planting bore fruit and I took the time to capture it. Lines of jars bursting with bright redness line my cellar walls. I think that it is these little things that I will miss if I outlive him, something entirely possible with the age difference, these acts of love. I can tomatoes that I rarely eat and he puts lights on bicycles that he will never ride.
All too soon I arrive and it is time to put such thoughts behind me. Tomorrow I will have to drive because of the days plans, but today is just a bit better than it would have been otherwise as I watched the world awakening.