Spring. Dusk. Peepers peeping. The Robin has ceased plucking the strings of my heart for the evening. Light breeze. A still-bare maple branch shivers expectantly in front of a waxing moon. With scissors and flashlight I have edged into the garden to discern chives from grape hyacinth.
I’ve had this urge the last few days to watch again, or re-read, not sure which, Far from the Madding Crowd. It’s the pastoral that I desire, I think, something Victorian literature seldom fails to deliver. Working in the fields. Smelling the rain coming. A nervous encounter on a path in the woods. Nature never seems to be a backdrop; she is a formidable presence in every scene.
Nature is too too romantic.
Spring arrives on a light breeze that touches the side of my face, gently moves a wisp of hair.
I don’t know why this particular novel/story swooped in and slid across my hand as I toiled away at my work station a few days ago. And then re-visited about the same time every afternoon since. The post-lunch slump, the mesmerizing click, click, click of the mouse, some association trying to bubble to the surface?
And then it kind of seemed like the kind of day where, a few years ago, I’d leave the store for a few hours, go rent a movie and drive out to see Dad. It was a thing we did. And it was so restful. For 80-120 minutes we went far far away. Far away from a stressful business, far away from Arthritis. Dad could run and I had personal power.
I thought perhaps it was a bit of grief, working itself out. You move a certain way.
A friend of mine is a massage therapist. She told me she would be quietly giving a treatment, massage a certain spot, and memories would pour forth from the client.
“What suddenly made me think of that,” they would wonder.
Memories tucked under a scapula, resting against the heart, lodged between metatarsals.
I do need to watch more movies. In recent times I’ve watched my kind of movies in half hour increments while I get my cardio. It occurs to me that I used to watch an entire movie in one sitting, as they are meant to be consumed. It was luxurious, restful.
Far from the Madding Crowd – that scene where Bathsheba knows she must get the hay covered but the revelers in her house could care less what is happening outside the windows. She is partnered with the land, the weather; she works with perfect timing, as naturally as the green shoots poke up through the brown landscape, as rhythmically as buds form on the bare branches. Farmers are a part of the great unfurling of season upon season upon season.
It’s not the most uplifting story a person could read, what with unrequited love, disappointing lushes and such, but I’m really not that invested in the happiness of the characters anyway. I’m in it for the country high.
“Every green was young, every pore was open, and every stalk was swollen with racing currents of juice.”
Whoa. That’s the stuff.
That’s the sentence my eye landed on when I just plucked from my shelf Thomas Hardy’s Far From the Madding Crowd and opened to a random page.
This craziness. This life bursting forth from our centers, our muscles barely recovered from moving and moving through cold, heavy snow.
We should do something.